This is what *ending poverty* looks like in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, June 12th, 2023 - 160 comments
Categories: election 2023, greens, james shaw, Metiria Turei, unemployment - Tags: , ,

James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party of New Zealand, speaking at the launch of the Greens’ new Ending Poverty Together plan yesterday,

The Governments that we have been a part of since 2017 have lifted just shy of thirty thousand children out of poverty.

But here’s a question: why not everyone?

Why not the remaining 45,000?

For too long, governments have been tinkering at the edges instead of taking the bold decisions people need right now.

If you’re not willing to take those decisions on behalf of the people of the country you purport to lead, then why are you in politics at all?

What we do to prioritise the lives and livelihoods of those who need our support the most should be a measure of every political party.

In fact, I would argue that any party that stops short of promising to lift every family out of poverty, is actively choosing to make life harder for thousands of people.

They are essentially saying to thousands of people who cannot afford to put food on the table, that’s it. That’s your lot.

Poverty is a political choice, and the Green Party is choosing to end it.

What we are announcing today is a transformational new way of doing income support that will lift every single family out of poverty.

It is a plan to work together as a country to ensure everyone has what they need to thrive.

Here’s how it works.

The policy

The fully costed and phased Ending Poverty Together plan. The short explainer is here. This looks like a continuation of their welfare and tax policy development for the 2020 election. It’s socialist af. I wrote this at the time,

The Green Party’s first major election announcement is a beautifully conceived social security package based in the concepts of manaakitanga and compassion. It insists on giving people income security and treating them well. It’s fully costed, and financed by taxing some of the assets and income of wealthy people.

The gist of the 2023 policy,

Income support: a strong safety net

  • everyone out of work or studying will receive a Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) of at least $385 in the hand per week
  • additional support for solo parents, and those with disability or in hardship
  • the first $10,000 of income is tax free
  • remove stand downs for benefits: everyone who needs income assistance gets it immediately
  • all payments are individualised, which means if you are part of the couple, you get the payment independent of any earnings your partner has.
  • the abatement rate rises to $190/wk (the amount someone receiving the GMI can earn before the government starts taking back a % of benefit)
  • all disabled and unwell people come under a new Agency for Comprehensive Care (replacing WINZ benefits and ACC income support)

Tax reform: how the GMI gets paid for

  • a 2.5% wealth tax  on assets above $2,000,000 ($4m for couples)
  • a trust tax to stop wealth tax avoidance
  • a top tax rate of 45% over $180,000 (people earning under $125,000 will pay less tax)
  • returning the corporate tax rate to the 2008 level of 33%

There’s a lot of detail here, including the complexities of support for families, so I’m focussing on income support for those who are unemployed or those who cannot work due to disability. There are lots of detail and examples in the full policy document for people to work out different scenarios.

A few key things stand out. The removal of the stand down period means that low income people newly unemployed, studying or disabled/unwell, don’t have to scramble around borrowing money or going through the onerous process of trying to get emergency grants from WINZ. This stops people dropping further into poverty.

It also means that people who have savings don’t have to use their savings for daily/weekly living expenses. Some will say this is unfair, why shouldn’t people use their savings, but so much of WINZ policy is designed to asset strip people at the worst possible time, and this is one of the least discussed long term drivers of poverty in New Zealand.

Likewise, individualising the GMI means that individuals have the money when they need it and don’t have to be dependent on their partner. It prevents families from having their income halved.

Here’s the bit that really speaks to me of the intention to end poverty. The plan is to replace the various benefits for disabled and unwell people with a new Agency for Comprehensive Care (this also replaces ACC).

  • minimum payment of 80% of the full time minimum wage. Today that would be equivalent to $767/week, compared to the current Supported Living Payment of $385/week (both figures are in the hand). This cannot be overemphasised: current SLP rates force people who cannot work due to disability to live in poverty. SLP is the long term benefit for disabled people, and we keep them in poverty, forcing them to live off any savings and then sell their assets, and then subsist.
  • income support is individualised, so people in a relationship don’t become dependent on their partner

Nothing has told me more about Labour’s ‘deserving poor but really you need to get a job’ approach to welfare than the fact that they have kept the SLP rate below what it is possible to live on. The bit they don’t say out loud is that people who are permanently so disabled they can’t work are consigned to permanent poverty. It’s mind boggling that this has never been addressed but the small amounts thrown the way of SLP doesn’t change the fact that if you cannot work you are fundamentally screwed. And there’s never been any good reason for it. It’s the major flaw in Labour’s welfare, as well as most UBI policies. Speaking of which,

Why it’s not a Universal/Unconditional Basic Income

It kind of is, but it has welfare bolted on, and it takes into account the different circumstances that people have, two major differences.

The GMI is for people that need financial support because they have lost their source of income. It doesn’t get paid to everyone. It is in fact unconditional, and universal, for those who don’t have income from work, in that unlike current welfare, everyone who is eligible gets it and there are no hoops to jump through. It sits between a UBI and neoliberal welfare in that it still allows for variation in circumstances. It’s a set rate, with built in extras for children, disabled, those in hardship. But it’s more simple and less punitive than the neoliberalised welfare we currently have.

The Greens policy is streets ahead of The Opportunity Party’s UBI policy, because the Greens understand welfare and don’t see it as an add on to economic levers around income insurance. Despite well intentioned policy adjustments in recent years by TOP, their UBI fails at the fundamental level of centering people instead of economics. The difference is centering people in need and developing policy out from there and then figuring out how to pay for it.  Wellbeing and manaakitanga are the point.

The politics

As always, thank-you Metiria Turei, who started the ball really rolling.

I love it when the Greens do smart and this seems like they’re back and ready to go hard on welfare reform again. It’s James Shaw announcing the plan this time, but he is introduced by Chloe Swarbrick then Marama Davidson. This is a strong team, and Shaw is up front because it’s not the leftie liberals that really need convincing, it’s the business, media and political classes and they will respond to the man in the suit. Anyone still thinking that Shaw is a neoliberal shill really isn’t paying attention. Read the speech. Listen to what all three have to say. Look at the Green MP’s social media from yesterday. This is left wing, progressive, green policy. I cannot wait to see what they do with their climate and ecology policies this year.

So, lefties, the ball is in our court. If we want left wing action on poverty instead of neoliberal centre left BAU, we have the choice to support and vote for the Greens at this year’s general election.

160 comments on “This is what *ending poverty* looks like in New Zealand ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Excellent. Definitely a vote generator for the Greens. Covers many bases and implements more of the 2019 WEAG Report–e.g. abatement rate and individualisation. The COVID middle class second tier benefit where a partner could be in work, did not cause the sky to fall, so it is about time that 1964 style morality was dropped once and for all by MSD.

    • Phillip ure 1.1

      Excellent policy… possibly the best bit of policy in decades ..since the 80's.

      And the brilliant part about it is that anyone earning under $125 grand…gets a tax cuts…

      This is a sure vote winner for the greens…

      And they are to be congratulated for coming up with such well reasoned tax reform..

  2. Mike the Lefty 2

    This kind of policy could be a vote winner for the Greens.

    IF they stick to it and stop the pointless unproductive bickering over genders and identity that just turn potential left voters off.

    • Shanreagh 2.1

      Agree with this view Mike the Lefty.

      The identity politics schemozzle has/will cost the Greens. The effects of the No Debate BDM changes come into force on 15/6. There is still plenty of time for anguish a la Invercargill before the election, so still plenty of time to find all the signs for women's safe spaces replaced by those for transgender-women.

      This policy to end poverty looks very promising…..now if they could add a sure fire environmental policy winner…….could be perfection in a party!

      • weka 2.1.1

        GC lefties and progressives have choices about how much they amplify GC issues during the election campaign, and how they do that. I can't see how undermining the Greens will help women. Less Green MPs means less more centrist BAU. GC election drama also risks Nact gaining power. It's not like any party is against self-ID.

        • Sabine 2.1.1.1

          when you speak of 'women' whom are you speaking of?

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            women as a class.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.1

              to pre-empt what comes next, you would reject solid lw socioeconomic policy because you also reject the GP's position on gender ideology. Despite the fact that all parties in parliament support self-ID including TPM and TOP.

              This risks Nact gaining power, who will fuck over beneficiaries and low wage earners, increase wealth at the top end, and put major blocks in the way of climate action. Beggars belief that any progressive person would support that.

              • That_guy

                Weka, I respect you, and I take your point about not going on and on about gender. But it really does not beggar belief at all.

                All you need is to have (or know) a child who you believe is in danger of doing something stupid and irreversible, and that will become your priority. Whether you are progressive, conservative, or martian.

                No, I don't have any personal experience here, but it's not hard to get into the head of the parents who do.

                • weka

                  I think you might have missed my point. You know I'm strongly GC right?

                  Say someone has a child who is in danger of wrongful transition. Literally all parties in parliament support self ID and affirmation only practice. How does not voting for the GP solve that? Worse, how does having a Nact government do anything other than make the situation worse? You think changing GI culture and law will be *easier under Nact? I'd like to see the argument made for that.

                  If you are saying that people vote on emotion or reaction, yes, they do. I'm pointing out the shortcomings of that approach.

                  • That_guy

                    If you are saying that people vote on emotion or reaction, yes, they do.

                    I am.

                    And yes I am aware that you and I are both GC and see mostly eye-to-eye. I appreciate you pointing out your opinion on the shortcomings of that approach. The other opinion is: progressives will vote against their best interests and tolerate three years of bad policy if the alternative is watching your kid go through hell and feeling helpless. But I think I'll leave it at that.

        • Shanreagh 2.1.1.2

          Yes agree but The Greens have put themselves on the back foot to a certain extent. We saw Marama Davidson being so anti women that she was attending and speaking at Albert Park against those wanting to make their own minds up.

          My point is/was that the policy to end poverty looks good and I would love to see a sock it to them environmental policy esp on pines as the perpetual crop/carbon trading being widened past pines, forestry clean-ups. If we have some really good policies on these two issues and a minimising or silencing on trans/self ID/anti women, while being pro safe spaces for women, pro womens sports the Greens may be able to recover some ground. Perhaps lots of ground if they remain silent on self ID/identity policies.

          The point is that if councils/people become alerted from 15/6, as have the Invercargill City people, then they may not be able to prevent egg splattering all over the Greens.

          I have only ever voted for the Greens as a party in national elections, tending to favour their candidates in the local body elections.

          The reason for voting for the party was as a ginger group for Labour. This becomes fraught for me as at some stage the Greens had Self ID in their back pockets, I understand, when negotiating with Labour. My mind is not wide enough to think about what other nasty type unpopular policy they might have this time round. Hence the reason that I think to get back to being a good party to vote for, they need to ramp up really good policies such as this one for ending poverty, add a top notch environmental policy and drop off the weird and wonderful. Or, at least let us see the metes and bounds of the ideas they want included as part of a coalition deal.

          I am not doing anything like allowing the NACTs to come through. I might vote Labour for the party while for a Green candidate …..I am not sure. The local Labour party candidate is one who shrieked outside the SUFW meeting in Wgtn when discussing the BDM amdts so I am hardly likely to vote for her. She will get in anyway as it is a safe seat.

          Ending poverty is good, fair and vote enhancing policy from The Greens.

          • weka 2.1.1.2.1

            The Labour majority government pass the self ID law. I don't see them as particularly less ideologically captured than the GP.

            I am not doing anything like allowing the NACTs to come through.

            👍

            I might vote Labour for the party while for a Green candidate

            Ok, so this sounds like a centre left voting position. It's not about ending poverty or taking climate seriously (because Labour isn't doing either of those things, Labour is holding the BAU for the centre left).

    • Incognito 2.2

      IF they stick to it and stop the pointless unproductive bickering over [insert personal pet topic du jour] that just turn potential left voters off.

      FIFY

  3. Sabine 3
    • everyone out of work or studying will receive a Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) of at least $385 in the hand per week
      that is what, 30 bucks above the current level of unemployment benefit, will it affect side benefits, will partners that are not in work and not counted as unemployed be eligible as currently a spouse/partner will not receive any benefits should the partner be above a threshold?
    • additional support for solo parents, and those with disability or in hardship

    what type of support? Will it be tacked on the main benefits or will it be fringe benefits?

    • the first $10,000 of income is tax free

    Wow, the generosity kills, but i guess its a start. And its about a saving in taxes of 1000 NZD, and not enough to even just rent an emergency hovel.

    • remove stand downs for benefits: everyone who needs income assistance gets it immediately

    will this apply to spouses and partners of people who have income above a threshold and who are currently denied benefits on grounds of their partners income? Consider that these spouses/partners are not stood down, they are simply refused full stop.

    • all payments are individualised, which means if you are part of the couple, you get the payment independent of any earnings your partner has.

    Again, what is the threshold for couples? Would be nice to see, but can see that being dropped the first time govt has not enough money to dispense all that wealth. So really, not buying that. Also that is something that the greens could/should have tried to push through over the last 5+ years. I guess they had not enough currency cause not enough of them are in governmetn, right?

    • the abatement rate rises to $190/wk (the amount someone receiving the GMI can earn before the government starts taking back a % of benefit)

    wow, 190 before tax, is gonna make a huge dent. It should be earn the money you need to get to min wage before any cutting of benefits happen. But i guess 190 a week extra is gonna bring bacon to the table.

    • all disabled and unwell people come under a new Agency for Comprehensive Care (replacing WINZ benefits and ACC income support)

    yei, more employment for the kids of the upper middle class that just got lots of money to study something…….like gender 101 and self id.

    All of that for a provisional tax on an unrealized gain that is based on the fact that government will set the government values for properties, or will it also include Savings Accounts, Shares, Kiwi Saver etc? So government sets a provisional tax for the owners of mortgages and houses or what ever ‘wealth’ they accumualated whilst working and paying income tax, gst, rates, gst, user tax, gst, etc, and always gst on all the things that they accumulated over a life time of work.

    And can we mention that that is literally the policy Top tried to sell in 2016?

    • Sabine 3.1

      And despite it all, there is still not a single reason for anyone to vote for this 'environmental' troupe that things violence is a think only white cis male do (Marama Davidson), that fights 'Nazis' at women speak events (Golriz), that posts threads about non violent marches that sees one women doused with liquid, another had her jaw broken, two males arrested for physical assault (Chloe Swarbruck), that spend more money on a 'green school' then on homelessness despite a good budget being provided (James Shaw and Marama Davidson), and that is so supportive of sex work they promote it with pole polishing whilst starting one hopefuls career at earning a back benchers salary that of course will be taxed to the lowest amount any one of these guys could get by with.

      But you are totally correct, between National, Labour, Green, ACT, TPM the female human being is shit out of luck. Hence for human females the questions really stands, how many dicks must i suck to pay for the provisional tax on my 'wealth'?

      • Molly 3.1.1

        Still not voting Green for that reason. The party policy on Self-ID, the investment into gender ideology into education, health and opaque NGOs – the disdain shown by MPs to those who raise concerns – is enough to make me withdraw my support.

        It’s also that I think the level of incompetence and ideological capture demonstrated on this issue, gives a fairly good indication of their ability and competence on others.

        • Shanreagh 3.1.1.1

          It’s also that I think the level of incompetence and ideological capture demonstrated on this issue, gives a fairly good indication of their ability and competence on others.

          This is a very good point and was behind my view above

          and drop off the weird and wonderful. Or, at least let us see the metes and bounds of the ideas they want included as part of a coalition deal.

          Yes it is trust, and intellectual capability that were found wanting…..I mean does any thinking person believe we can overcome/change biology? Seriously? If we seriously belive we can do this then why not turn ourselves to making gold from dross or wine from water? Or sure fire ways to remove nitrates from water?

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            because GI is an ideology based in caring about trans people. There are people who believe that humans can literally change sex, but most genderists don't actually think that but believe instead that gender identity is a better way of understanding humans than sex. I disagree of course, but I can easily see how someone can understand about the necessity of using science to remove nitrates from water and still care about the lives of trans people.

            Further, I would say that most people in NZ have weird ideological capture when it comes to water (eg we see water as a resource to be used, and protected, but we don't see water as life). We're so steeped in this mind/body split ideology that we think water quality is about nitrate levels instead of whole ecosystems. This is the same thinking that both caused the climate crisis and is stopping us from doing the actions we know will resolve it.

            • Molly 3.1.1.1.1.1

              "because GI is an ideology based in caring about trans people."

              I don't agree. In conversations with people who support gender ideology – many of them are unable to articulate any of the current transgender perspectives – or understand the implications on the individuals they purport to support. This is especially true around the very significant impact on young gay and lesbian people looking for support from the current rainbow organisations.

              If people are genuinely concerned about the vast disparate groups that now make up trans people, then their care is not predicated on ensuring best practice healthcare protocols, or age appropriate engagement, or clear support for those with same sex orientations.

              I think the reasons for those supporting gender ideology, are often personal, but can be as diverse in expression and motivation as the groups under the trans umbrella currently are.

              • weka

                I was talking specifically about political party MPs and members (because of the idea that the Greens can't be trusted on any policy because of their GI policy). My understanding is that both Labour and the Greens have people who have trans people in their lives that they care about and this is a significant driver of the ideological position. (we see this with TS commenters as well).

            • Shanreagh 3.1.1.1.1.2

              My reference to nitrates was as saying if we can magic human bodies into different sexes we can magic nitrates away from our water. It was to belabour the magic thinking point by turning dross into gold etc

              Of course I believe in whole eco systems and the actually the whole Maori world view on water, land etc

              • weka

                ae, but my point was that *most people in NZ (not you 👍) have very weird ideas about water and nature. Anti reality ideas. But they can mostly think about other things competently. The idea that someone holds strong gender ideology ideas doesn't mean they can't be trusted with other thought processes.

                Molly thinks that the GP position on GI means they are incompetent in other policy areas. I'm saying this doesn't follow, with an example. And I will point out again, that all parties in parliament voted for the self ID law. So if a political party can't be trusted with government on that basis, we have no way of forming government.

      • Incognito 3.1.2

        […] that spend more money on a 'green school' […]

        Except, it didn’t spend any money, in the end.

        https://www.1news.co.nz/2020/11/01/green-schools-117-million-grant-now-a-100-per-cent-government-loan/

        That’s just one example taken from your inaccurate and misleading biased narrative.

    • weka 3.2

      that is what, 30 bucks above the current level of unemployment benefit, will it affect side benefits, will partners that are not in work and not counted as unemployed be eligible as currently a spouse/partner will not receive any benefits should the partner be above a threshold?

      $47 more/week.

      Afaik supplementary benefits will remain the same for the meantime.

      Abatement rate level rises to $190

      GMI would be individualised, so the not working person would get it irrespective of whether they have a partner nor not, or how much that partner earns.

      Much of this was covered in the post.

      • Sabine 3.2.1

        AFIK means you do not know but hope.

        In the meantime, WINZ under a full majority Labour Government with the full support of the Green underlings is the biggest pay day lender in the country to the poorest people that are there because Labour fucked around for + years and has nothing to show for when it comes to the poor of this country.

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          AFIK means you do not know but hope.

          no, it means I read that yesterday but didn't have time to find the reference. But here you go, seeing as how you apparently won't read the document yourself.

          For now, the Green Party will retain supplementary support options and ensure non-recoverable grants are used in preference to recoverable grants.

          Meanwhile, you say,

          In the meantime, WINZ under a full majority Labour Government with the full support of the Green underlings is the biggest pay day lender in the country to the poorest people that are there because Labour fucked around for + years and has nothing to show for when it comes to the poor of this country.

          Who did you vote for at the last election Sabine? And the ones before? The whole point here is that there are policies on the table to the left of Labour. And you are shitting on them (ignorantly too).

    • Nic the NZer 3.3

      This is a good policy, one mistake the Greens should avoid is too tightly coupling the GMI and Wealth tax parts together. They are unlikely to get both in any negotiation.

      The Green proposal is not the same as the TOP proposal of 2016 in any way. The Green policy is obviously compatible with the existing welfare regime, the TOP policy was basically how can we leverage welfare to get changes in fiscal policy through (some of which were quite destructive for existing welfare recipients).

    • weka 3.4

      what type of support? Will it be tacked on the main benefits or will it be fringe benefits?

      Re solo parents, why not read the link to the main policy document? Benefits for families are complex, they've laid it out with examples.

      Wow, the generosity kills, but i guess its a start. And its about a saving in taxes of 1000 NZD, and not enough to even just rent an emergency hovel.

      People on JS pay $2,548/year in tax atm. That's how the increase to the GMI will be paid for. But the abatement rate is increasing by $30/wk, so people on JS who are looking for work will be able to supplement their income more than they can currently.

      It's not intended to solve the housing crisis, that's a different policy.

      will this apply to spouses and partners of people who have income above a threshold and who are currently denied benefits on grounds of their partners income? Consider that these spouses/partners are not stood down, they are simply refused full stop.

      Do you know what individualised benefits are? Did you read the post?

      wow, 190 before tax, is gonna make a huge dent. It should be earn the money you need to get to min wage before any cutting of benefits happen. But i guess 190 a week extra is gonna bring bacon to the table.

      it speaks volumes that you sneer at this. Meanwhile, people who can work but don't currently will be able to more.

      yei, more employment for the kids of the upper middle class that just got lots of money to study something…….like gender 101 and self id.

      you're an idiot. The jobs at the new ACC will replace WINZ jobs. What the proposal does is increase income for disabled people hugely. It also removes them from the punitive bullshit cycle at WINZ. They also get supplementary benefits. What the fuck are you on about Sabine, you complain people don't have enough income and here is something really good for disabled people and you can't even acknowledge this.

      What I'm seeing is a bunch of ideologically driven, ill informed whining. I don't believe you are interested in political changes that end poverty, you look like you want to sit on the sidelines and take potshots at people you don't like.

      • Sabine 3.4.1

        Of course i and everyone else who does not rejoice at that poor attempt at relevance is an idiot, Weka, all of us that reject this current Green Party and who will not vote for them are. Glad you told us and confirmed that for us.

        • weka 3.4.1.1

          actually no, I was calling you an idiot specifically because you made up some stupid shit about how the new ACC would just be about middle class jobs for uni kids.

          Nothing to do with your politics about the GP but I think it’s telling that that is how you frame it.

      • Phillip ure 3.4.2

        Wot weka said..to sabine..

    • Molly 3.5

      Addressing poverty – means to balance the percentage of the required costs of living and opportunity against the available income.

      This policy is a poor attempt to draft poverty as relating to income – which requires state redistribution – using the crude yardstick of personal income and wealth, without regard to anything else.

      Ian Taylor addresses this aspect in today's Herald – archived copy:

      https://archive.ph/8X1A3

      The really significant – and admittedly difficult to solve – ongoing contributors to poverty – housing costs, cost of living crisis, food energy and transport costs – are not adequately addressed – and any increase in these items will absorb the income increase for many, making it at best neutral – but likely one of those band-aids that doesn't stick for long before falling off. (You just hope the blood has clotted in between, but infection risk remains.)

      What is needed – a policy that addresses that percentage balance of essential costs vs income – not nominal figures. One that doesn't put poorly evidenced assumptions into dictating solutions, which ignores the detrimental effects on those they do not bother to consider.

      It's not a policy that inspires me. Although there are benefits to certain groups which are overdue, the overall effect I don’t think will be effective for all those that need assistance, and it may be detrimental for others who are struggling to manage currently, or are not the stereotyped wealth accumulators that they are being portrayed as.

      • weka 3.5.1

        The really significant – and admittedly difficult to solve – ongoing contributors to poverty – housing costs, cost of living crisis, food energy and transport costs – are not adequately addressed – and any increase in these items will absorb the income increase for many, making it at best neutral – but likely one of those band-aids that doesn't stick for long before falling off. (You just hope the blood has clotted in between, but infection risk remains.)

        This is silly. Political parties release their policies over time, not all in one go. This policy isn't intended to address those things. You've been commenting on politics long enough to know this, so what gives?

        What is needed – a policy that addresses that percentage balance of essential costs vs income – not nominal figures. One that doesn't put poorly evidenced assumptions into dictating solutions, which ignores the detrimental effects on those they do not bother to consider.

        How would that work in practice?

        Who have they not bothered to consider?

        It's not a policy that inspires me. Although there are benefits to certain groups which are overdue, the overall effect I don’t think will be effective for all those that need assistance, and it may be detrimental for others who are struggling to manage currently, or are not the stereotyped wealth accumulators that they are being portrayed as.

        The ACC policy alone is a game changer for disabled people who can't work.

        No government policy is going to be perfect. I'd like to see more detail in the critiques.

        • Molly 3.5.1.1

          "This is silly. Political parties release their policies over time, not all in one go. This policy isn't intended to address those things. You've been commenting on politics long enough to know this, so what gives?"

          Well, if you look back. I've not been impressed by their housing policies, or cost of living policies either. So, I'm consistently unimpressed – it that helps.

          This is just another policy that doesn't inspire.

          One constant is that I think the Green Party – along with other political parties – tend to frame problems in such a way as to be able to provide a simplistic – solution. The solution will "solve" the problems they identify, but not the underlying issues, and will often create other problems that are foreseeable but will be ignored.

          • Sabine 3.5.1.1.1

            This policy is not there to change the underlying factors of poverty but to garner votes and make this party relevant again, thus simplistic is good.

            The greens used to be the third largest political party in NZ and now are hovering anywhere between 7 – 10 % in polls whilst ACT is polling 15 – 20%.

            It is a very thinly disguised attempt at 'caring'. Never mind that Marama Davidson is Minister for the Unhoused, was given a good budget to spend on that and did fuck all with it.

            • The Chairman 3.5.1.1.1.1

              Never mind that Marama Davidson is Minister for the Unhoused, was given a good budget to spend on that and did fuck all with it.

              IMO it wasn't a wise choice having Marama Davidson co fronting the new Ending Poverty Together plan.

              Seems many dislike her, see below.

              Researchers say the amount of hate being directed at the Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson is now as bad as that towards former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/487306/spike-in-online-hate-toward-trans-community-after-posie-parker-visit-researchers

              • Molly

                The Disinformation Project is aptly named.

                I don't deny that Marama Davidson is likely receiving a lot of online criticism, and even hateful threats from others. Unfortunately, that seems to be the nature and experience of online engagement for many. Prominent women seem to have to deal with this regardless of political or personal stance… unfortunately, many such women will always find someone willing to hate them publicly on the internet.

                What the Disinformation Project does – is register only those occurrences that align with their preferred narrative. It doesn't surprise me that the report in the article is referred to from the experience of one view only. (There are a couple of examples posted yesterday on Open Mike (.https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11-06-2023/#comment-1953654 ) of regular and commonplace threats received by women raising concerns, but no mention of this in the report). IRRC, no robust methodology was used nor link to source data provided. Happy to be corrected on this.

                I had thought I'd bookmarked a good analysis of that specific report but it appears not.

                Google – however – has provided a more recent and general critique of the organisation:

                https://www.thelookingglass.co.nz/the-disinformation-project-is-infiltrating-unions-civil-service-journalism/

                "…That’s why I don’t think there is any use pretending that The Disinformation Project is anything other than an actor in the (dis)information war. I can’t prove this – but state-sponsored, set up and handled by the intelligence community would be my bet.

                They may be unwitting, recruited without ever realising that was what was happening – you can play to people’s egos if you’re smart. Or they may be witting – true believers, or even coerced into it.

                Who knows, I don’t. But I’ve been observing the narrative of domestic extremism from the beginning, particularly in relation to New Zealand’s dissident freedom community and along with the The Disinformation Project, other academics and lobbyists, and random influencers online have been selling this narrative hard. And it’s working among at least a segment of New Zealanders."

                My concern is that their influence on public discussion around the hate speech legislation, will be widely given credit by media pundits and politicians alike.

                • The Chairman

                  From what I've seen and personally speaking, it has nothing to do with her being a prominent women. The criticism is a result of her inaction, positions taken and comments made.

                  IMO she has become a huge liability that shouldn't be anywhere near this policy let alone the Green Party.

                  • Molly

                    I agree.

                    I was commenting more on The Disinformation Project's narrative around it. But I agree that some of the criticism is more than justified.

                  • Shanreagh

                    IMO she has become a huge liability that shouldn't be anywhere near this policy let alone the Green Party.

                    I agree with this point. For me it is illustrative of there being no perfect way of ensuring demographic or inclusive representation. I have felt that way the Greens leadership is selected puts a stake in the ground for diversity and so is worth persisting with. Like democracy generally it does throw up results that may not be as good as if the leadership was chosen from two talented women or two talented men.

                    The Greens will be backing Marama Davidson as she has come through their selection process/es. Fair enough too. Hopefully though, it does not blind them as to her ability/suitability and she is supported in the areas where she needs it.

                    So I agree with The Chairman about the need for a clear eyed view about her 'fronting' anything, especially given her past record of 'cis' this or that.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Seems many dislike her [Davidson]…

                Many Kiwis seem to dislike certain political leaders – Clark, Ardern, Turei, Davidson. Certainly National and Act party leaders, from Key to Luxon and Prebble to Seymour, never appealed to me.

                But enough about the last 30 years – "the amount of hate being directed at the Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson", Ardern et al. tells me all I need to know about today's haters.

                https://www.renews.co.nz/i-dont-think-i-would-cope-aspiring-politicians-react-to-jacinda-ardern-hate/

                Why do people hate politicians? [31 May 2023]
                There are psychological reasons for politicians to be hated so much. For instance, hating a politician can bond you with others. “Common enemies create a sense of belonging… because the mammal brain bonds around a shared sense of threat.

                Insulting politicians from a safe distance can also be good for the ego. “Mammals challenge the hierarchy of their herd or pack or troop whenever it's safe because that promotes their survival

                We also often expect more from politicians than from ourselves. “Politicians spin facts outrageously, you may say. But when your own herd-mates spin facts, you tend to overlook it.

                Some also profit from this hate: Journalists and social media influencers get more attention when political polarization is at its highest. Ultimately it is the people’s fault though – we click more when we see hateful comments directed at politicians.

                • The Chairman

                  Do you think it is wise she is co fronting this policy?

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Do you think it is wise she is co fronting this policy?

                    Yes. Do you think it is wise to have Davidson fronting any policy? Do you (being more left than most) think that the 2018 decision by Green party members to elect Davidson as co-leader has proved unwise?

                    It was inevitable, imho, that much hate would be directed at any Green MP advocating for increased redistribution of wealth as a way of addressing poverty and inequality in NZ. But don't worry, nothing will come of it – wealthy Kiwis have plenty of political clout.

                    Why poverty in New Zealand is everyone's concern
                    Liang describes poverty as a "heritable condition" that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: "It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels."

                    A Kete Half Empty
                    Poverty is your problem, it is everyone's problem, not just those who are in poverty. – Rebecca, a child from Te Puru


                    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-08-2022/the-side-eyes-two-new-zealands-the-table

                    • The Chairman

                      “Do you think it is wise to have Davidson fronting any policy?”

                      Not now. Not only has she lost credibility, she also lacks that on the spot sharp-wittedness required to publicly sell it and successfully win debates when challenged.

                      As for Green party members electing her as co-leader, I think some will come to regret it.

                  • Shanreagh

                    @ Drowsy and The Chairman

                    I don't think it is wise she is fronting the policy, she is not nimble enough, has not got a background in competently engaging on people/economic matters, I think Chloe with her enthusiasm would have been better. I feel that MD is co fronting it as she is co-leader rather than the best person to sell it.

                    The Greens have a way of selecting their leaders that pays great attention to diversity. Selecting to fan/encourage diversity sometimes does not make for the best leadership but that is often not why we do this method of leadership selection. This type of leadership selection 'speaks' to the people that here is one of them (female, Maori, etc in power, it is aspirational

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    As for Green party members electing her as co-leader, I think some will come to regret it.

                    Unsurprising, given your comments in this thread. Otoh, Green party members have had five years to evaluate Davidson's performance as co-leader, and her position seems secure. It wasn't the (re-)election of Davidson that went to a second round last year.

                    Perhaps Green party members are naturally cautious – see the Green's suite of welfare and tax proposals for redistributing wealth, which are well worth considering in light of challenges Aotearoa NZ faces.

                    https://www.greens.org.nz/ending_poverty_together

                    Your comments have prompted me to make my first donation to a political party this year, so thanks for that.

            • SPC 3.5.1.1.1.2

              Cognitive dissonance, those who claim to care about poverty but won't support Greens (or Labour) because of a policy supported by all the other parties in parliament? Because someone must pay and bee seen to pay.

              It's a real cart before the horse scenario, if the political right were campaigning to do something there might have been a point.

              Of course, there is the option provided by a women's party protest vote.

              But how often are those tactics decisive?

              There has been electoral reform – MMP (successful). Those advocating drug reform got a referendum (which attracted international funding and organisation to the anti-faction – from the same groups against GI, CRT, same sex marriages, sex education in schools, public funding of contraception, CRT, prostitution and pornography).

          • weka 3.5.1.1.2

            Well, if you look back. I've not been impressed by their housing policies, or cost of living policies either. So, I'm consistently unimpressed – it that helps.

            lol, yes it does 👍

            I understand you are uninspired (fair enough, not everything meets people). I was just hoping for a bit more meaty critique. This sounds all a bit vague (you don't like it a meta level that isn't that clear yet).

            One constant is that I think the Green Party – along with other political parties – tend to frame problems in such a way as to be able to provide a simplistic – solution. The solution will "solve" the problems they identify, but not the underlying issues, and will often create other problems that are foreseeable but will be ignored.

            Ok, I understand this principle. What would you see the underlying issue is here that they're not trying to solve?

            • Molly 3.5.1.1.2.1

              "Ok, I understand this principle. What would you see the underlying issue is here that they're not trying to solve?"

              As mentioned, poverty relates to the imbalance between income and necessary expenses as opposed to looking only at nominal values.

              A couple of examples:

              They are not addressing the failure of working wages to keep up with basic expenditures nor the lack of sustainable working options to provide those who want it with an opportunity to work, pay all necessary bills and have a good work life balance at full-employment level. Many of those in poverty are working households.

              They could remove the tax on a larger number of lower income earners – who will spend most – if not all – their income within NZ – contributing to local business and government tax take, for example. The first $10,000 is a timid move.

              • weka

                ah, ok I think I get it now. I agree with your definition of poverty, but think that there are distinct limits on government to be that specific. One would need to look at income, housing costs (including what part of the country they live in), other costs, capacity to increase income, whether the person intends to have children or not, needs education and so on. Can't really design social policy that assesses all that so that each individual's needs are met (although technically welfare could use a case management system for this if it were sane). So government focuses on broad measures (as they do with health, public health is for the collective not the individual, which is why we suck up vaccine reactions for the greater good).

                They are not addressing the failure of working wages to keep up with basic expenditures nor the lack of sustainable working options to provide those who want it with an opportunity to work, pay all necessary bills and have a good work life balance at full-employment level. Many of those in poverty are working households.

                I'm pretty sure they do address this in other policy (whether you agree with the how, it's not like they are ignoring these things) but before I go look for that, what's the in the hand difference between raising the tax free bracket (and what you you set that at), and other measures like increasing wages and lowering housing costs? Do you see a higher tax free bracket instead of the other proposals or in addition to them?

                They could remove the tax on a larger number of lower income earners – who will spend most – if not all – their income within NZ – contributing to local business and government tax take, for example. The first $10,000 is a timid move.

                I get the advantage of getting more of your hourly rate rather than having to work more hours to get the same amount in hand, but I'm curious where the level is. Obviously we need tax paid. Is the solution a tax free $20,000 and more tax on high income earners?

                • Molly

                  Weka, I've just remembered that I thought the Green's clean car rebate was dismally conceived as well. The more I recollect, the stronger my perspective becomes.

                  In essence, from observation and past experience – I don't trust them to allocate ANY extra funds received for poverty in a way that is both strategic or effective.

                  "Is the solution a tax free $20,000 and more tax on high income earners?"

                  Unfortunately, if it was that simple, poverty would have been effectively addressed long ago.

                  • weka

                    what I get from that is that you think GP policy is generally ineffective, can’t be specific about how, but also can't say what should be done instead 🤷‍♀️

                    You can see why it seems vague.

                    • Molly

                      "You can see why it seems vague."

                      Not really.

                      I do get into specific detail often – .https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-16-05-2022/#comment-1888651, more than they provide.

                      If such criticisms are dismissed as vague, the points do not have to be addressed.

                      Usually the points are glaringly obvious to me, and until they are addressed the finer detail is irrelevant.

                    • weka []

                      hmm, I think that’s the second time recently where there’s been miscommunication about what I am doing. I’m not dismissing your criticisms as vague, I’m making an observation about them and leaning in and asking for more explanation. I want robust debate, and conversation with people who can take the policy and unpick it and point out the failings.

                      What I think you are doing is taking your past experience with GP policy and your idea that they are incompetent and using that to inform your opinion about their competency, rather than looking at the policy detail. I don’t think there is any way to address that tbh. If you start with them being incompetent then everything will be parsed through that.

                      (and I still don’t know what is wrong with the policy, because the two critiques didn’t stand up).

                  • SPC

                    This is getting silly. First you complain it’s timid and they should do more to reduce tax on those working on lower incomes. Then at the idea of this being done, you say it's not that simple.

                    As for your earlier point about reducing costs – they have wanted a rent freeze for some time. And more state houses – with income related rent.

                    As for the other big costs people are facing, it’s either the cost of land (when buying a home) and the higher cost of mortgage – neither of which is in the inflation statistics. Until this faced up to directly – actions of the RBNZ to manage other inflation is an absurdity (they pushed up the price of land with their pandemic policy and the cost of mortgages to manage the consequences). A neo-liberal nonsense.

                    • Molly

                      My position is also based on the fact that the Greens ignore those that are struggling who don't fit the easily defined poor that they use in their examples.

                      People on low incomes with access to free or low housing, or reduced necessary costs – are sometimes better off than those on higher incomes, with higher necessity costs and more ongoing responsibilities.

                      For example: I have relatives on pensions who are struggling in Auckland, while another older relative has access to council subsidised housing (was $48 p/w), and support with transport costs, leaving her with a reasonable amount of income over her utilities and food costs.

                      Other relatives, have relocated to the family owned house and now live there rent free as a sibling group. Their expenses are reduced to food and utilities, which means they too are able to have a reasonable excess over income.

                      However, I know a working couple who have taken on related children who despite working, endeavouring to pay off their mortgage on a modest home, and also looking after an elderly relative are constantly struggling financially. Their responsibilities and outgoings are rising as the children grow, and the costs of care (adult nappies etc) rise.

                      So, it is important for those who wish to address poverty to look at the balance of income and necessary expenses. Address the nominal amounts by all means, but have something else to capture those for whom this does not apply.

                      Another point – one that is often not taken into account – is the assumption that an individual's income equates to a benefit and responsibility for an individual.

                      There are many households that have a single tax payer. There will be a difference in tax between a household that earns over $125,000 with more than one earner, and that which relies on only one.

                      IIRC, this anomaly has only been mentioned by Peter Dunne many years ago, and has never been revisited.

                      "As for your earlier point about reducing costs – they have wanted a rent freeze for some time. And more state houses – with income related rent."

                      Greens can ask for a rent freeze, but unless costs of providing rentals are also frozen then they are effectively asking private landlords to subsidise the cost of housing for others. Essentially, getting them to offset successive governments failures to rein in housing inflation, and ensure provision of affordable, healthy, secure homes.

                      I've given up reading the Housing NZ – Kainga Ora report – because this oft repeated intention, doesn't seem to have any great direction for implementation or effect.

                      But your faith in delivery is stronger than mine, so fingers crossed that you are right and I am wrong. I would like the housing situation to be effectively addressed. If that means I am wrong about their methods, I'll happily be wrong.

                      However, I cannot change my perspective because I wish to be more hopeful, I need clear indications there is something concrete to reconsider.

                    • SPC

                      So, it is important for those who wish to address poverty to look at the balance of income and necessary expenses

                      Which is why going to $20,000 tax free (at a huge cost) is not the way to go – the available resources need better targeting.

                      It is why we have WFF and AS (related to family size and housing cost).

                      The Green policy is designed to focus on lack of basic income (and ease of guaranteed access – given W and I gatekeeping and bureaucracy), not do away with this.

                      There are many households that have a single tax payer. There will be a difference in tax between a household that earns over $125,000 with more than one earner, and that which relies on only one.

                      IIRC, this anomaly has only been mentioned by Peter Dunne many years ago, and has never been revisited.

                      The Ohariu (Wellington Epsom) policy to reduce tax on those on a high single income (unrelated to any actual need/hardship test). For mine it would be better to allow individual access to income support (to deny those with a disability any support if they have a working partner is really unfair policy). This better reflects the modern world, and would also allow sole partners on the DPB an easier relationship life and a simpler transition when they form partnerships (which should make for better housing utilisation).

                      Greens can ask for a rent freeze, but unless costs of providing rentals are also frozen then they are effectively asking private landlords to subsidise the cost of housing for others. Essentially, getting them to offset successive governments failures to rein in housing inflation, and ensure provision of affordable, healthy, secure homes.

                      Structural problems (from cost of land, supply of necessary infrastructure, consents and building) are not quick fixes (maybe consents for small and factory build facilitation), a rent freeze is. Complaining about a lack of focus on costs and then dismissing something that does just this is a form of obstructionism.

                      I've given up reading the Housing NZ – Kainga Ora report – because this oft repeated intention, doesn't seem to have any great direction for implementation or effect.

                      The quickest results come from leasing, or buying homes to rent out at affordable to income levels. At the moment the migration of workers will have more impact than state building (reduce the amount of income subsidised housing to total demand). So it is fair that the company tax rate goes up to assist with the impost. For mine we should choose the American approach of a progressive tax, more on larger more profitable companies.

                      Your faith in delivery is stronger than mine, so fingers crossed that you are right and I am wrong. I would like the housing situation to be effectively addressed. If that means I am wrong about their methods, I'll happily be wrong.

                      Delivery requires Labour, so fingers crossed.

                    • Shanreagh

                      @ Molly 5.17pm

                      Brava well said, clear and accords with my perspective. I know of many of my ilk who are cash poor while thought to be asset rich. The cost of rates and water rates, where these are not based on actual use, can be plunging many into poverty. This is important as many can work budget miracles where they have control of the use of water or electricity.

                      So, it is important for those who wish to address poverty to look at the balance of income and necessary expenses. Address the nominal amounts by all means, but have something else to capture those for whom this does not apply.

                      Ever since I have been a tax payer we have always had reference to the new poor…..those that Molly refers to. Also the ones just outside of limits who earn slightly, and I mean slightly too much to qualify. Abating, rather than hard fixed limits, is a good thing if it can mean that some of the new poor can get a little 'gruel'.

                    • SPC

                      @Shanreagh 6.25pm

                      Replacing Working for Families with a single payment for parents or caregivers of $215 every week for the first child, and $135 a week for every other child, with an extra $140 a week for every child under three years.

                      • The abatement threshold will be increased from the current $42,700 to $60,000 so people can earn more before their payments start being reduced
                      • The abatement rate will change to 18% from the current 27% to ensure the payments reduce at a much slower rate

                      Presuming Greens and Labour interface on policy, the outcome would be support to families will continue up to a higher level and with slower abatement changes (apart from the Greens bump to lower incomes and the $10,000 threshold, the issue was pressure around the $75,000-$120,000 family in higher cost environments – something not fixed by tax rate bracket tinkering).

        • The Chairman 3.5.1.2

          The ACC policy alone is a game changer for disabled people who can't work.

          It looks a bit sketchy.

          A minimum payment of 80% of the full-time minimum wage is an improvement, however why transform ACC? What will that in itself cost? Why not keep it with MSD? Moreover, what shape will this transformation take?

          Below is a snippet from an example given by the Greens

          However, he is no longer able to do physical work, and gets tired much more quickly than he used to. He talks to his caseworker at ACC, and she agrees he will continue to be eligible for the higher rate of support until he turns 65 and starts getting NZ Superannuation.

          https://assets.nationbuilder.com/beachheroes/pages/17574/attachments/original/1686379147/Tax_Full_Policy_Document_v4.pdf?1686379147

          So does that mean that under this transformation caseworkers (not doctors) get to say whether or not someone is eligible? And what happens if they are deemed not to be eligible but yet still can't work?

          • weka 3.5.1.2.1

            A minimum payment of 80% of the full-time minimum wage is an improvement, however why transform ACC? What will that in itself cost? Why not keep it with MSD? Moreover, what shape will this transformation take?

            Because WINZ has a shitshow culture of abuse, paternalism, and Bennett indoctrination and many consider it too hard to change? More importantly, the current situation is that if you can't work because of an accident you get way better support than if you can't work because of illness. This is a well known inequity that's long been discussed and finally a political party is stepping up with a plan to change that. So either we shift ACC clients to WINZ (lol), or the other way around. If WINZ disabled clients go to ACC, it makes sense to reform ACC to be fit for purpose (It has some cultural issues of its own).

            Whatever way the situation is resolved, it's going to take reorganisation and funding.

            So does that mean that under this transformation caseworkers (not doctors) get to say whether or not someone is eligible? And what happens if they are deemed not to be eligible but yet still can't work?

            That's the status quo. A GP can sign the forms and WINZ can still decline the benefit. It's been like that for many years (since they brought in designated doctors). However reading the example the Greens give, I would expect that the decision is made by ACC based on medical advice (which is what happens now). With both WINZ and ACC culture change is also needed.

            • The Chairman 3.5.1.2.1.1

              With both WINZ and ACC culture change is also needed.

              Indeed. However wouldn't a culture change at MSD be less costly than fully transforming ACC? Which is merely adding further complications to this policy.

              Totally agree with addressing the current disparity between accident payments and illness.

              • Craig H

                This came up as part of income insurance work, and that opted for ACC over MSD/WINZ to pay and do the case management because it was easier than trying to redo MSD.

                Expanding ACC to include illness was the recommendation when setting up ACC, so there's history to it as well.

              • Stuart Munro

                However wouldn't a culture change at MSD be less costly

                Given the magnitude of the change required, it would be cheaper to build new agencies from scratch and disestablish the old as the new comes into operation.

      • Patricia Bremner 3.5.2

        Poverty is about income. Anyone pretending otherwise is "pulling the wool".

        Lack of income is the reason for all the other lacks. Beginning with choices.

        Like Ian Taylor would know!!

        • weka 3.5.2.1

          Poverty is the gap between income and being able to afford basic needs. I know people on low incomes who would be considered poor based on that, but they're not because their housing costs are very low.

      • Shanreagh 3.5.3

        I have thought long and hard about this overnight.

        1 I am not sure why it is based on not having a job, as Molly says there are people working desparately hard at multiple jobs for low pay who are still needing more support. The minimum wage and the Living wage earners are not eating choccy biscuits or finding it easy to hand over $$$ for kids school trips/uniforms etc.

        It seems that the policy may be treating people as individuals, and that is good rather than the spouse of someone, meaning you don't qualify.

        So would the policy mean that the mother I had helping me after I had an accident be able to not work and her family get along financially? She & her spouse worked multiple jobs, they cared for 2 school age children who could not be left at home. Both worked jobs that were at the same time. Their solution was to buy a van with a bed in the back. Whoever was working the shorter time at night had the van and the children slept in the back of the van. Oh the family was not eligible for WCC or Kainga Ora Houses and rented privately as they 'earned too much'. Assumed they got AS.

        So could she give up her jobs, go on the benefit as not working and get this GMI? This woman was working to give her children opportunities. One really good thing would be for at least one of the family with multiple jobs to not need to do this so they could be at home, even before and after school, making a home and being around in the community.

        What is needed – a policy that addresses that percentage balance of essential costs vs income – not nominal figures. One that doesn't put poorly evidenced assumptions into dictating solutions, which ignores the detrimental effects on those they do not bother to consider.

        This is the key failing. People's incomes may be low but because of the operation of other policies their actual net incomes are higher than you would expect.

        2 I am not sure why IRD could not be more involved in identifying those with low incomes

        3 without the SW system treating people as individuals then some who may be unemployed may miss out ie the spouse of someone who is working

        4 what is the net in hand for an individual? They would get the jobseekers plus $385?

        5 If it is aimed at those already on benefits why not just come out and say this ie an improvement to benefits. Why does it need to be tied to a wealth tax? Shouldn't we aim for people to be able to avoid poverty when they are on any sort of state support by having realistic payments?

        6 Why not reform the tax system as proposed, see how it goes in bringing in more money and then look at other ways if there is a shortfall

        such as

        wealth tax that includes collections, real estate, shares (dividends are alreay taxed as part of income tax so this would be on the value of the holdings per annum)

        Wealth tax that excludes the family home

        Policies that operate at the natural changes of property ownership rather than annually. sale and death are these changes.

        So we have a transaction tax at the time of sale, like the old stamp duty but augmented or a tax at the time of death before asset distribution.

        Why not base it on the universality principles and rates of National Super?

        Do we have figures that show that the unemployed figure more highly in poverty, than the households where every member is working at low paying jobs often all day/night

        I have probably got key things wrong but having looked at both sides UBI & wealth tax neither really attracts me or make me feel that we are doing something meaningful.

        The situation where people are unable to work because of disability should be treated differently from those not working – if Weka feels that this is better covered under the ACC regime then I would support this.

        Individuality like NS is good.

  4. Nic the NZer 4

    While the GMI component of this is great there are a couple of minor weaknesses. Don't couple the GMI and Wealth tax components too tightly. The Green party is unlikely to get both in any coalition negotiation. Negotiating on the basis of both or neither will almost certainly result in neither.

    If GMI gets passed then there needs to be an explanation of what that means for ending poverty. Most poverty measures relevant to NZ are relative. The existence of a poverty line doesn't go away from the policy review, in fact it's relative unimportance should be a mark of success of the policy.

    • weka 4.1

      I see a difference between the election campaign (telling the electorate what is possible) and the negotiation period (the pragmatics arising from how many votes they get). They should definitely be doing both the GMI and the WT in the election campaign, but I am curious now what scenario planning they have done for coalition negotiations.

      Remember also that TPM may be queen maker.

    • Belladonna 4.2

      The problem with separating them, is that if the Wealth tax isn't supported, the GMI isn't affordable.

      The money has to come from somewhere: and kudos to the Greens for being explicit over the tax changes which would be required to meet their GMI goal.

      • Nic the NZer 4.2.1

        That's entirely incorrect.

        If the GMI is put into the budget then the governments payments will continue to clear just fine.

        If your unclear about this fact its simply because where the money comes from is it comes from the RBNZ. The RBNZ issues in some form every single cent the government either spends or collects. It's explicitely part of the reserve bank act that the RBNZ has an absolute monopoly on doing this.

        • Belladonna 4.2.1.1

          Well, you can claim this. But you'll have a hard road convincing most Kiwis that money effectively grows on trees.

          If any political party proposes to increase benefits, or institute a GMI – then they have to be prepared to answer the inevitable question of "Where does the money come from"

          Your belief that the RBNZ can just print whatever is needed – is the kind of quantitative easing which got NZ into the current inflationary spiral. Not too many people are happy about the resulting cost of living crisis – and they are absolutely wary about anything which might pump more gasoline on that fire.

          • Nic the NZer 4.2.1.1.1

            For a start, as you have highlighted, its far from just my opinion, its also recent practice. This is just how government spending works, how its legislated and how its correctly documented. Since I've highlighted the incorrectness of your term of unaffordable you might want to put your argument across more precisely in future.

            So, it seems what your actually claiming is that paying people a GMI would be inflationary. Were it going to be I certainly agree this is a reasonable poitical debate to have, if that should be a policy.

            But I think it should not be difficult to convince most NZers that that narrative of the present inflationary episode is invalid for a few reasons. Firstly, multiple countries were running QE policies for a full decade (or three for Japan) prior, with ongoing low inflation rates. This indicates that QEs timing was more of a coincidence than a factor. Second, there have been obvious factors causing supply chain disruption and oil price hikes which were initially and have been subsequently discussed as causes. This has been coupled with multiple follow on profiteering decisions. For these the timing is right both for inflation starting and coming back down. This has been widely reported on as the main cause of inflation.

            Third, the main economic institutions and opposition have actually blamed wage rates, not govt spending for the inflation. Though this is basically contradicted by the real wage cuts observed (prices moved and wages didn't catch up is what stats say about this). It should also be noted the RBNZ prefers to talk unemployment rates, rather than pay rates, though the mechanism is targeted to lower wage rate increases.

            Fourth, the country used to function with lower wage inequality rates which would be supported by a GMI. If your claim is heading back towards mid-90s levels of income inequality is inflationary, you will need to justify why it wasn't then.

            • Belladonna 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Good luck with finding any political party which will espouse your views.

              I'm pretty sure the GP are not that party.

              • KJT

                Presently we add to the money supply by getting a bank to charge (Interest) for issuing it. The only constraint being legislated reserve ratios, sometimes.

                In the past Governments added to the money supply by "issuing" currency.

                Of course banks and lenders don't approve as this cuts into their profits.

                Please explain why one should be more "legitimate than the other?

                Government issue also has the advantage that less is spent on profits for the unproductive FIRE, sector.

                By the way The Proof That Banks Create Money – Positive Money “in reality in the modern economy, commercial banks are the creators of deposit money”.

                “BOOK: https://positivemoney.org/modernising-money/
                Why our monetary system is broken, and how to fix it.

                “Money is a social invention, indeed among the most important of all social inventions. At present the right to create money has been handed over to the private businesses we call banks. But this is not the only way we could create money and, as recent experience suggests, it may be far from the best one. Read this book with an open mind and you will understand why.”

                – Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times”

                The other concept is why Governments should be in deficit and avoid “starving” other sectors,
                https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2012/07/18/why-you-should-love-government-deficits/?sh=1ea08db570a5

                • Nic the NZer

                  I've disliked the positive money presentation of this subject for some time as it tends to descend into miss-leading tropes, rather than a clear explanation.

                  Around the brief QE period in NZ (and similar to longer ones overseas) what was happening is that the RBNZ was lending to the government to facilitate its deficit spending. Grant Robertson was directly asked if this is what was happening, but he denied it was anything unusual in that the RBNZ was just buying up the debt in the secondary bond market that had recently been bought in the primary market (mostly by large financial institutions). I'm not sure how many were convinced but apparently buying and holding the bonds for maybe a few days to a week before reselling with a small profit to the RBNZ validates the bond interest rates the government pays. The rate of profit to doing this however is very small. This is what the positive money description chooses to highlight however.

                  The important parts of the QE policy however were, the government has lent to itself and ends up paying itself back for this borrowing (eventually any profits the RBNZ makes are rebated to treasury anyway). The follow up might be, since the government is lending to itself, why not just setup an overdraft like account where the government clears its payments. That would be much more understandable for the public and might lead to better public spending outcomes when this basic mechanism is made visibly overt.

                  They also highlight reserve ratios, but reserve ratios have never been a constraint on bank lending. The OCR policy is a guarantee to banks that they can always borrow what ever reserves they need to clear payments. While there are no reserve ratios in NZ the OCR policy means if there were those reserves (even up to 100%) are guaranteed available. The actual constraint on bank lending is that the banks can find credit worthy borrowers who will pay their interest rate margin over the cash rate (over the long term).

                  (Note for KJT, I'm aware your well on top of this detail yourself).

              • KJT

                They can't.

                If they did we would swiftly find out who really rules New Zealand.

                As we found when it was proposed the finance company charges be taxed.

    • Incognito 4.3

      I’m curious, which of the two will meet most resistance in coalition talks with Labour, GMI or wealth tax?

  5. weka 5

    If the lift of the corporate income tax rate isn't 'progressive', isn't it an outright lie to say big/"large corporations" will pay the tax needed to fund your policy? Looks like *all* businesses would pay, big and small alike.

    https://twitter.com/AdamParsonz/status/1667791264409071616

    I've seen this come up a few times. Has anyone looked at the detail? I responded with this from the policy document,

    • Craig H 5.1

      Agree, for many smaller businesses, some profits will be retained for business purposes, but anything over that is only kept in the company structure to minimise taxes. If profits are paid out as either imputed dividends or shareholder salary, the owners will pay tax at their normal marginal rates, so the company rate will not affect that.

  6. That_guy 6

    A good policy, the Greens at their best.

    Before nitpicking this policy, all other parties now must be asked for specifics about their plan to end child poverty…

  7. observer 7

    FWIW, my party vote will go to either Labour or the Greens, and with this policy the Greens have moved ahead. (The candidate vote for me in Auckland Central is easy, Chloe of course).

    In the post-Cab press conference today, Hipkins will probably be asked about it, and I hope he resists the temptation to use words like "rule out" or "bottom line". He doesn't have to endorse the Greens' policy (though it would be great if he did) but he'd be making a huge mistake if he simply shut it down, like Ardern with CGT.

    • Jack 7.1

      Labours tax policy, or complete lack there of, is the elephant in the IRD office. All other major parties now have a tax policy. Labour need to come clean on theirs so voters left and right can make a more informed decision as we move closer to the election.

      Having tax policies in isolation is reasonably unhelpful under MMP.

      • observer 7.1.1

        All other major parties now have a tax policy.

        Where can we find National's?

        Is it the policy Luxon announced in 2022 (reverse all Labour's tax changes) or the walk-back by Willis?

        If you could point us to National's income tax policy, that would be great. Because it doesn't exist.

        • Jack 7.1.1.1

          No, it’s not just reversal of Labours new taxes. It’s also inflation adjustment to tax thresholds. Even the Greens get this with partial adjustments to their threshold.

          Labour … we’re just waiting on you now.

          • observer 7.1.1.1.1

            Again …

            What is National's policy on income tax?

            Keep the current top tax rate, or scrap the current top tax rate?

            Very simple question.

            • Jack 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Very simple answer – keep the 39% rate.

              • observer

                12:57 "reversal of Labours new taxes"

                2:21 "keep the 39% rate"

                They can't both be true.

                I don't blame you for being confused, Luxon has been all over the place on this, Nicola Willis has to keep rescuing him. But you should probably just admit that you got it wrong, and National have not announced their tax policy for the election, just like Labour. That's a fact.

                Horse's mouth:

                "National Party leader Christopher Luxon says he is waiting for the latest economic figures before the party releases details of its tax and fiscal plan."

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/490091/luxon-wants-latest-economic-figures-before-releasing-national-s-tax-and-fiscal-plan-details

                • Jack

                  Are you thick or what? You will see I said “not just a reversal of Labours taxes …”

                  • observer

                    Please stop digging.

                    You originally claimed National had released their tax policy for the election.

                    That is false.

                    That's why you haven't linked to it, in any of your comments. It's impossible to link to something that doesn't exist.

      • weka 7.1.2

        Labour have said they will be releasing their own tax policy soon.

  8. Coeey 8

    So, I donated to the Greens last night, that's how much this impressed me.

    I had written the Greens off, I didn't think they could talk about anything other than identity issues.

    Well done to the Greens. They have made me and a lot of millennials and gen z suddenly excited for this election, because there will actually be a party campaigning on populist left economic reforms.

    My only concern is that they will get distracted and caught up in irrelevant culture war bullshit as the greens tend to do and not enough voters will hear their economic policies.

    If they remain focused on messaging and getting the word out so that every kiwi possible knows their economic policies, they are going to clean up.

    And yes! It's time for the Greens to start differentiating themselves from labour and attacking from the left just as Act is attacking National.

    This is going to steal voted from labour and top and honestly I even expect a bunch of middle voters see the proposals and switch to greens.

    Bravo to the Greens, there's actually something to vote FOR this election, rather than just voting AGAINST something.

    • weka 8.1

      please fix your username.

      • Corey 8.1.1

        Sorry I don't seem to be able to edit my username on that comment.

        Tldr for the other comment I posted.

        These policies have restored some of my faith in the NZ left and have got me excited.

        I was going to give two ticks to TOP, now I'm party voting Green and giving Raf my electorate vote in Ilam.

        This election seemed like it was going to be a slog between who could be the beigest.

        Now there's going to be some actually debate around economics.

        If their housing policies are just as good I'm going to start volunteering and donating monthly.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          I'm really looking forward to their other policies. I was feeling pretty hohum about the election too, but this has certainly made me pay more attention. It's the smell of potential in the air.

    • weka 8.2

      I really hope so 🤞

    • observer 8.3

      "I didn't think they could talk about anything other than identity issues."

      What the Greens talk about and what the media bother to report are quite different.

      I'm on the Greens' mailing list (not a member) and apart from all the usual fundraising e-mails, which are common to all parties, I'd say about 90% of policy communication is related to climate change, other environment issues like mining, housing/rents, and general economic policy.

      But that doesn't get enough angry clicks or talkback calls, so it's largely ignored by the daily media.

      • Corey 8.3.1

        This is true and I say that criticism as a minority myself, it's just really good to see some good old left wing economics.

        I really am excited for this election now.

        I kinda wish they'd bring back the all party debates!

  9. Ad 9

    Good to see Hosking pretty mild with Shaw this morning. Civil even.

    Liked the $4m cutoff.

    Also first $10k tax free fully supportive.

  10. James Simpson 10

    What's the strategy for when Labour says no to all this?

    • weka 10.1

      pre-election or post-election?

      • James Simpson 10.1.1

        Post

        I love all of it but can't see Chippy being to interested

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          I expect the GP strategy post-election is the same as always, working on the pragmatics depending on how much party vote they got.

          I said elsewhere that I am curious what post-election scenarios they run.

        • Chris 10.1.1.2

          Sure, there's a whole lot of stuff that's likely still unpalatable for many, but the important thing is that it's being said continues to be said.

  11. lprent 11

    What I like about this kind of policy is that it simplifies and reduces reduces administrative overhead.

    The simplicity of the superannuation system leads it to have a administrative overhead cost of about 2-3% of the funds disbursed.

    I haven't seen any comparative data about the disbursement of other WINZ benefits, but looking at it with a overhead cost eye, I'd be very surprised if the direct administrative overhead is less than 20% of funds disbursed. It would not surprise me if it was closer to 50% of funds disbursed.

    And this is before looking at the other costs of of being required to turn up at WINZ offices for pointless meetings, interviews and involuntary strange and futile 'training' courses. All of which appear to be of a punitive nature and designed to raise the costs to recipients.

    If someone is on the DPB, then circumstances don't change over time and having to get to a WINZ office monthly doesn't help. Nor does getting the DPB turned off because you can't get to the WINZ office because you have a kid with a cold and can't get on a bus. Same for turning up for meeting about jobs when there are no jobs or interviews on offer or where the offer is a interview at the other end of Auckland city. All of which I have seen happen to people I know.

    I have paid an awful lot of tax over the decades which doesn’t particularly worry me. I have always been able to earn more, and it does mean that there is backstop if I get health problems or finally retire.

    But it infuriates me when it gets squandered providing kind of make-work and punitive silliness that appears to be the purpose of WINZ for many idiotic politicians. Silly rules make for ridiculous operational inefficiencies.

    Hopefully policies like this would reduce the overheads to something closer to the efficient and productive superannuation overhead.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    Well, it's the first really promising Green policy I've seen in a while.

    I have a feeling that housing issues would uncover a number of faults with any money based reform however, and that some kind of regulation that contains the egregious avarice of speculators and slumlords would remain necessary to make it workable.

    Now we need some real environmental policy – not hydrogen or 1080 or subsidies paid to Musk. Cleaning up our rivers seriously would be a good start.

    Though I'm annoyed by the gender self-id rubbish, as the public work out it's yet another linguistic philosopher boondoggle, on the 'all truth is socially constructed' pattern, it will lose popularity, and indeed is doing so in the UK already.

    So the Greens are marginally palatable again for me, which I guess is better than no options at all.

  13. George 13

    One of the big issues for most, especially solo parents, is security for their family. Have been a solo parent and really wanted to buy out the ex so I could keep the family home and kids in place during the turmoil. On the benefit with my home business it was affordable, however the benefit was/is made up of so many different components that it wasn't considered income by the bank. So although I could pay for it..I couldn't get a mortgage and be independent. I would have to sell up and illogically pay more in rent in an area away from our supports. Nuts. It's ridiculously expensive to have to do that for the government and also for a parent. I ended up in full time work but my family really suffered. And I did buy my house.

    • weka 13.1

      a not uncommon scenario unfortunately. I think most people fail to understand just how complicated benefit structures and rules currently are, and how often they work against concepts of social security.

    • Molly 13.2

      Those old Housing NZ mortgages might show a solution for this going forward. IIRC they were fixed interest mortgages for up to 30 years – my friend’s family were political refugees from Chile and had one in order to purchase their state house when it became available to buy. But I don't know how the money market works now as compared to then, so whether it is still possible would be the question.

      Housing affordability, security and access are a big ticket item that reduces the cost of living immensely. Addressing this – and improving access to better financial options for individuals and families – to offset the financial considerations of banks – may help.

      • Belladonna 13.2.1

        Personal anecdata about this one. My dad had one at 7% for 25 years.

        Began in the mid-70s. By the early 80s they were virtually going on their knees, begging him to pay it off early. At that stage mortgage rates were in the high teens – and trending up over 20%.

        • Molly 13.2.1.1

          IIRC, I got a one year term deposit rate of 20 (or 25) % with Countrywide in the mid-80's.

          • Shanreagh 13.2.1.1.1

            Yes just thinking about the logical, if we were really wanting to up the numbers of home ownership with all its good aspects, aspect to having a long term loan facility. Since these state loans went down the gurgler as part of the neo lib movement they have never been looked at again or reinstated. This is despite them being a boon to those who were helped by them.

            It just shows me how close we are still intertwined with this whole neo lib rubbish that a Labour Govt has not thought of or had the guts to reintroduce something like this.

            We have Kiwisaver and that is great and I support the hardline on withdrawals. it is for retirement and not a defacto housing funds source.

            We could look at a State Advances type home loan ability. It would fit nicely with what we all thought the Labour movement was all about.

      • SPC 13.2.2

        The government provides subsidy via AS or income related rent now.

        Another approach is the cost of borrowing to buy up/own property and then "rent to own" schemes (long term tenancy). Or simple sale via some sort of housing bonds – whereby investors supply funds for long term mortgages (and can sell these on that market).

    • SPC 13.3

      Yes, the end of marriages when there is a family home is a an area that deserves some focus.

      For mine continuing to provide a family home to the children is part of preventing poverty.

      This is an area that is still neglected in policy.

      • Belladonna 13.3.1

        One interesting option – where the separated parents continue to co-parent – is that the kids remain in the family home, and each parent moves in for 'their' week.

        It has remained resolutely unpopular with the separated parents – who want their 'own' space. But would be the best outcome for the kids (no trekking between 2 'homes', no issues with schooling continuing, or the rest of the disruption which occurs in association with the grief over parents separating).

        Both parents contribute to the mortgage – with varying levels of 'ownership' accruing for differential payments following the separation: e.g. if they had 30% equity in the home at the time of separation – they get 15% each; but subsequent mortgage payments increase/decrease the share of the balance for each.

        Once the kids are grown/leave home (a bit of a moveable feast these days) – the family home is sold – and the profits split according to mortgage contributions above.

        Of course, this requires a fairly amicable divorce. When one party is fire-breathing vengeance personified – the best interests of the children go to the wall.

        • SPC 13.3.1.1

          It requires

          a two bedroom apartment/flat/town house for the away parent (in turns).

          they each share a two bedroom place with someone else one week out of two.

          one has a place of their own, and the other uses a sleep out.

          It's more difficult when there is re-couplingor (or living in different areas) – and a partner has a new family home mortgage partnership. Then the government has to buy out the "absent" parent. That might reduce the shared care down to occasional times (resident parent to a sleepout) or daytime.

  14. Patricia Bremner 14

    This was an interesting adjunct. Mortgages over time.
    Norm and I had a 30 year mortgage @ 3.5% in late1972. of $10400* (from memory) plus a $5000 2nd mortgage @ 7%. for 5 years. Built by Peerless Homes plan, keys in May 1973. Lived there for 23 years.

    We sold it for $ 151thou in 1996 and bought a unit for $87000.

    Property one recently sold for $750thou( small 3 bed.)

    Property two is now valued at $500thou. (small 2bed unit.) Been here since 1996 except for when we let it out for 5 years while we travelled in our Motorhome.

    In the 80s when my Dad died I helped my mother buy a unit in Waihi (Gold Mine Town) @ 18% for $12thou of the $51thou price.

    So prices and interest rates have been a seesaw.

  15. Roy Cartland 15

    Yep, it's back to GP party vote for me, after dallying with TMP and others. It's also good to see this policy suite supported by the more Labour-leaning on here.

    Now all that needs to happen is this to be reported properly, thanks MSM!

  16. Thinker 16

    This is a genuine question, not a criticism…

    Can someone please explain how a payment to everyone will stop people being at the bottom of the heap?

    I was around the public sector when accommodation supplements came in and it seemed they just went to increasing rents and left no-one genuinely better off.

    It seems to me that giving everyone the same payment would just be the rising tide that lifts all boats and another catalyst for putting middle class taxes into upper class pockets.

    Yet, those in the know seem to place an importance on the concept so I'm sure I'm missing something. Can someone please tell me what it is?

    Thanks.

    • Nic the NZer 16.1

      The GMI policy is not a payment to everyone, its a top up to that level for those below it.

      Rental prices are often described as responding to accommodation supplement adjustments in that way. Not so clear what the facts of that matter are however because plenty of people not getting accommodation supplement also saw their rents increase at the same time frame.

      But the point is that this doesn't seem to apply for a majority of price levels. The change is immediately taking income inequality back a few years in time and if you expect a huge price level adjustment to everything on that basis the question is why that didn't apply to that earlier period of the economy.

  17. Belladonna 17

    I'm struggling to find the detail on the Trust element of this policy.

    If it is (as it appears from the press release) to be a flat tax on every asset owned by every trust – there are going to be a number of ordinary Kiwis affected – some of them very unfairly.

    Many people don't have trusts because they are 'rich pricks' There are a lot of trusts established to protect the family home, e.g. when Dad dies, Mum has a lifetime tenancy in the house, but the asset is protected for the kids. Or to protect an inheritance for a disabled child.

    This kind of protective trust is fairly common. And does a huge service in supporting those who are at risk of conmen (both Kiwi and international) asset-stripping people who are disadvantaged.

    If the asset threshold of the trust tax is the same as for individuals (i.e. 2 million) – I have much less of an issue with taxing it. But, on the face of it, it appears that it applies from the first dollar of value.

    One way around it, would be the legal establishment of a protective trust (one with a beneficiary who is disadvantaged in some way) – and exempt these from the trust tax up to the 2 million limit. This would have to be a legal declaration – so fraud would apply if business or wealthy individuals used this provision to hide assets.

    • Descendant Of Smith 17.1

      Many people don't have trusts because they are 'rich pricks' There are a lot of trusts established to protect the family home

      You mean of course to make the state pay for their residential care that they would otherwise have to pay for themselves. Winston Peters made a habit of going around New Zealand encouraging people to do this in the late 80's and early 90's. Lots of lawyers made good money from this. Of course only those who could afford lawyers and the costs of setting up a trust actually did this.

      The ordinary worker who owned their own house could or did not.

      There are also those who have learned to their regret that the children who were the beneficiaries of the trust oft dissolved it and sold the house from under them. I know a few who this has happened too – one parent only finding out their house had been sold when they ran into the person who had bought it in town and that person telling them they had just bought their house.

      Tell me should that value built up over the years be used to pay for a person's care – usually better quality when self-paying – or be given away to greedy children.

      • weka 17.1.1

        afaik beneficiaries can't sell a house like that, only the trustees can.

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          but yeah, it's still very shit and elderly people are vulnerable in lots of ways.

        • Descendant Of Smith 17.1.1.2

          If the beneficiaries all agree for the trust to be dissolved and the assets disbursed it can be.

          In setting up the trust the person is in effect giving their assets away to the trust. The trustees have to look after the interests of the beneficiaries – not the interests of the person who put the money/house into the trust.

          • weka 17.1.1.2.1

            right, but why would the elderly person agree to that? Or are they not a beneficiary?

            • Descendant Of Smith 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Often the person giving the assets is not a beneficiary.

              It is why they should get independnt legal advice from a different firm than the children. One acting in the interests of the children, one in the interests of the older person.

              If you put your assets in a trust and continue to use and access them as a beneficiary it can be declared a sham trust or the other beneficiaries can sue the trustees for not looking after their interests. There was a case in Palmerston North some years back where the parent used up all the money in the trust while they were alive i.e. continued to treat it as it was their own money and the children after her death successfully sued the lawyers who were trustees for neglecting their interests.

              It is much more complex than people think.

              https://www.trustlaw.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/NZL343-TToNTT-Greg-Kelly-7V.pdf

            • Descendant Of Smith 17.1.1.2.1.2

              In that particular case they were not. I've seen quite a few where the elderly person wasn't. Legal advice has not always been independent eg children and their lawyer convince Mum to set up a trust. Lawyer is acting on behalf of children.

              In another case I was helping with a disabled beneficiary got the trust wound up via another lawyer as the trustees (bother and sister and a lawyer family friend) were essentially not disbursing anything to him as they would get the money once he died.

      • Belladonna 17.1.2

        You mean of course to make the state pay for their residential care that they would otherwise have to pay for themselves.

        No, actually, I mean to protect the major asset/inheritance from a second marriage – resulting in it being willed away from the children; or from being conned by smooth-talking low-life into ….. unwise…. financial decisions.

        If you've never seen either happening, then you are fortunate.

    • Incognito 17.2

      If it is (as it appears from the press release) to be a flat tax on every asset owned by every trust – there are going to be a number of ordinary Kiwis affected – some of them very unfairly. [my italics]

      What/which Kiwis will be affected very unfairly and why, as a result of a trust tax?

      • Belladonna 17.2.1

        I know two people, both adults with intellectual disabilities, who are beneficiaries of trusts. Set up on the death of parents, with their share of the value of the family home – the only asset; held in trust for obvious reasons – these are vulnerable people.

        The value of the trusts would be well under the individual wealth tax level of $2 million in both cases. So their siblings (who are well able to look after themselves) would not be liable to pay wealth tax on their share of the inheritance; but these vulnerable individuals would be taxed on the value of the assets in their trust.

        Sounds pretty unfair to me.

        • Incognito 17.2.1.1

          Life’s been unfair to those people. However, in my view, the Green policy is not affecting them if those trusts are set up properly:

          Trusts with a beneficial social purpose will be exempt, including Māori land trusts, post-settlement trusts, charitable trusts, or disabled beneficiary trusts.

          https://assets.nationbuilder.com/beachheroes/pages/17574/attachments/original/1686379147/Tax_Full_Policy_Document_v4.pdf?1686379147

          “pretty unfair” ≠ “very unfairly”

          Why are you changing your wording?

          Why are some commenters and you desperately looking for examples, real or hypothetical, to raise doubt & concern about this policy? It seems you are refusing to look at the bigger picture and are looking for any (!) excuses to dismiss it. Why?

          One of the worst ‘reasons’ I’ve seen is that Marama Davidson co-fronting the policy, as Green Co-Leader, is enough to ditch the whole policy off-hand. What are such people even doing here on a Left-leaning NZ political blog??

          • Belladonna 17.2.1.1.1

            Happy to say "very" unfairly – if it makes you happier.
            And, if they will be exempt from the trust wealth surtax – then I don't have an issue, here.

            Thank you for the clarification.

            It was not clear from the media coverage that this was the case.

            I said, at the beginning, that I'd been unable to find the details of the GP policy on trusts – apart from the once-over-lightly media coverage.

            "I'm struggling to find the detail on the Trust element of this policy."

            I hardly think that querying a possiblity of unfairness under the (poorly reported) trust element qualifies as "desperately looking for examples"

            Indeed, I made a comment on another thread about giving kudos to the GP for providing the funding mechanism for their GBI.

            And, I've made zero comment about Marama Davidson in relation to this policy. If you have a problem with another commenter saying so – raise it with them.

            • Descendant Of Smith 17.2.1.1.1.1

              There is a link to the policy document in the original post.

              The policy

              The fully costed and phased Ending Poverty Together plan

              • Belladonna

                Thank you, I apologise for missing this link in the original post.

                • weka

                  In the post and easily found on the GP website 👍

                  I haven't read the whole document (although I have scanned it), but I'm finding when people ask specific questions that I can usually find the detail by doing keyword searches.

            • Incognito 17.2.1.1.1.2

              All good, I’m so much happier with consistency within and between comments in the same discussion thread.

              The Green policy covers a huge area and lots of legal-technical stuff will need to be worked out. My comments are my understanding of what’s in the full policy document as it stands. I’m no trust or tax expert.

              Life is unfair for many including many (most?) of the poor. Why the laser light focus on trusts set up for people with intellectual or other disabilities? What percentage of Kiwis with disabilities are beneficiaries of disabled beneficiary trusts? Inequity is present & pervasive at all levels.

            • Incognito 17.2.1.1.1.3

              The Green’s policy will help disabled people and nobody in this piece mentioned trusts.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/132303045/greens-income-guarantee-would-help-disabled-mori-in-poverty-advocates-say

  18. Shanreagh 18

    So will the wealth tax catch those who have saved through kiwisaver, got to the age of being able to withdraw it. So if they have taken a bit to upgrade with a view to future proofing the house they live in the family home, there is still a balance in their name. They may be wanting to get in an annuity/pension from later. Tax is already paid on these funds.

    If you include the family home and include kiwisaver I feel you are sending the wrong message. So an unintended consequence may be a lessening off of contributions if they are going to be taxed again later on them.

    I feel ending poverty should be looked at separately and the changes to the mode of delivery, individualism in benefits as well as tax rate changes should be the ones we look at.

    If benefits are too low then benefits are too low whether or not it is coupled with a wealth tax.

    • weka 18.1

      So will the wealth tax catch those who have saved through kiwisaver, got to the age of being able to withdraw it. So if they have taken a bit to upgrade with a view to future proofing the house they live in the family home, there is still a balance in their name. They may be wanting to get in an annuity/pension from later. Tax is already paid on these funds.

      Kiwisaver isn't mentioned in the document and I agree this needs to be clarified. But perhaps you could be more specific with a scenario. Few people will have a kiwisaver and freehold home worth over $2m

      • Incognito 18.1.1

        Have a look at the example given at the top of pg. 15 in the full policy document.

        My interpretation is that KS will be considered part of the cumulative net wealth of an individual.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          thanks. Do you mean the Marion Hood one? (they called one of the people in their scenarios Robin Hood, lol).

          Do you mean the private super scheme is akin to KS?

      • Shanreagh 18.1.2

        Really?

        You forget about people living in cities and those who may have been dutiful in putting more than the minimum, some up to 8%, into Kiwisaver and who are yet to draw down any funds as they have not retired. Will this balance be counted in the wealth tax? KS started in 2007. So someone living in a city who started then will have 16 years of contributions so far against a possible further 24 years of working life.

        My use of the word 'if' is to say that out of touch benefits exist now without being tacked on to another scheme to do the Govts job (of providing for all its citizens) by penalising others for looking after themselves.

        Puny benefits should not have to be run with something like a wealth tax to make the concept of upping them legitimate. Doing that lets any Govt off the hook off the need provide a safety net for those in need. This has been part & parcel of our way of life in NZ for many years.

        I do not doubt and have never doubted that benefits are not liveable on just as I don't doubt that minimum hourly rates or the even the living wage do not provide enough/any of things like choice for children's education, holidays even Christmas. I do know that the working poor who don't have access to abated rents, etc do it tough. This is becasue of the myth that working provides. Many lose variuos payments and have payments such as transport/clothing costs increase. Many belong to a union while working and that has to be paid for.

        We as a country need to look straight ahead and clearly and ask ourselves why this is and what the Govt can do about it. Hiding it in some sort of snow job wealth tax just continues hiding it.

        I feel certain that we should adopt wholeheartedly the tax changes suggested in The Greens paper. Make the benefits, on an individual basis, at least equal a 40 hour week on a the minumum or living wage and then see where the gap is on having funds within Govt coffers to pay.

        We should have huge encouragement for all citizens to avail themselves of AS and disability payments. Those already in the system seem to no problem but where people may have no other dealings with the system there is not good take up.

        I feel that your experience leads you to think that it would be better run through ACC then that is valid.

        My former flatmate who was legally and congenitally blind still had to fill out paper work which seemed to infer that he may have suddenly stopped being blind. I did too with my congenital bi lateral deafness. They have modified this approach but after having his disability payment stopped because he was too slow off the mark he didn't bother from then until he moved to Aus. I have never bothered to reapply but will do so.

        • weka 18.1.2.1

          Really?

          Really what exactly?

          You forget about people living in cities and those who may have been dutiful in putting more than the minimum, some up to 8%, into Kiwisaver and who are yet to draw down any funds as they have not retired. Will this balance be counted in the wealth tax? KS started in 2007. So someone living in a city who started then will have 16 years of contributions so far against a possible further 24 years of working life.

          No, it's not that I forget, it's that I'm of the underclass who can't have KS, so I don't know what you are talking about. This is why I asked you do give some scenarios. Actual scenarios, not vagueposting that some people have paid 8% (because obviously that depends on their wages/salary), or how they have over $2m in assets but no ability to pay or defer.

          The other problem I have is that you came into this debate arguing against things that didn't exist in the policy, so most of the time I can't tell if you are making a valid point or not.

          Puny benefits should not have to be run with something like a wealth tax to make the concept of upping them legitimate.

          It's not about making them legitimate, where did you even get that from? It's about paying for social security in NZ so that no-one has to live in poverty. If you have realistic ideas on how to do that without a wealth tax, please explain them.

          From the arguments you have made so far (and I could be wrong on this), you appear to be saying that asset rich, cash poor people shouldn't have to help lift people out of poverty. You haven't explained how or why. Given the option to defer, it looks like you are making the argument that people should be able to keep their high value house capital gains. I'd like to know why.

          • Shanreagh 18.1.2.1.1

            Actual scenarios, not vagueposting that some people have paid 8% (because obviously that depends on their wages/salary),

            Paying 8% does not depend on one's salary. You can pay 3-8%. Ok my own scenario. Redundancied out of full time well paid work in PS in 2005 and took early retirement.

            I had a series of jobs most of which were on the minimum wage to just over the minimum wage. When I was a peak portfolio worker with three or four small jobs I earned much, much less than I was getting in the PS.

            In 2007 the opportunity to put money into KS arose and I started out by putting the minimum of 3% in, even on the low wages I was on. In a later work place I was in, there was a similarly waged part-time worker who was able to put in the full 8%. I put in in 8% when my portfolios of jobs was about $30-40,000.

            I do not understand the comment as to the 'under class'. Please don't call yourself or anyone else that…..Luxon's 'bottom feeders' or 'unter mensch' are horrible similar sayings.

            There is nothing that stops anybody from opening a KS account. This is so that people would at least get the amount from the Govt. My niece has been on the job seeker benefit for many years with only occasional work (she has Borderline personality disorder) and she has managed to put aside contributions. My sister insisted that her children do this, opening an account for each of them. Admittedly this niece is one of those that Molly refers to with cheaper rent as she is housed in a Kainga Ora home.

            The upping of the basic benefit will allow choice and hopefully more will be able to contribute at least the minimum to KS so they feel they have a $$$$ stake in the future and see themselves backing themselves to provide part of it. Hopefully those on lower incomes will be able to make a contribution if they choose to.

            On the basis that if the Govt is giving away money then we should all be lining up to get it.

            I do support the upping of the benefits. This should be explicit & clear -cut Govt policy and not hidden or necessarily funded by this tax.

            I support the upping of the tax rates as suggested in the paper

            I support benefits being individualised

            I think the family home should be excluded.

            I think reintroducing death duties or introducing a (transaction) tax on when a property is sold are fairer ways and provide a natural waypoint when duties or taxes are imposed.

            For the long termers who are not able to work because of mental or physical disability should not be classed as not working or unemployed. They should have access to a package similar to at least the living wage or Govt super.

            I have looked at the Sorted KS calculator

            https://sorted.org.nz/guides/kiwisaver/kiwisaver-how-it-works/?

            It explains it far better than I can and I would urge anyone to open an account.

            From the arguments you have made so far (and I could be wrong on this), you appear to be saying that asset rich, cash poor people shouldn't have to help lift people out of poverty. You haven't explained how or why. Given the option to defer, it looks like you are making the argument that people should be able to keep their high value house capital gains. I'd like to know why.

            You are incorrect as to my rationale. I am hoping that this level (above) of misinformation/politics of envy is not going public in response to queries from people in similar circumstances to me. The people you so disparage (not wanting to help lift people out of poverty) above especially once they have retired, are the backbone of the charitable sector with many working almost full time hours for little,no, or honorarium type wages. They are the ones turning up at schools to run remedial reading classes, or to coach sports teams, making curtains or quilts or running foodbanks. In the domestic sphere one I know made 40 woollen hats over a two week period as well as scarves/clothes for packages to go to HB/Gisborne to help those affected by the Cyclones. The more that is well made, warm and donated the less people have to pay to replace out of their benefits.

            These are also the people that make huge contributions to charities on death. (hence my suggestion that if this taxation regime is brought into force and people defer until death that the amount they have to pay, that this is abated by the amount that is donated to charities.) I feel you will not get them on side by implying they are super rich. Many get along on their super, don't have holidays, budget and live frugally.

            That is the cohort I am in now so I know more about them.

            I can imagine feeling similarly peeved if I was paying huge amounts to house myself/family plus pay my way in retirement and then someone comes along and says you are a 'fat cat' and we are going to tax you. Fine budgetting often gets people a long way and they will be responding to govt initiatives like KS and working hard so they don't need to apply for social housing, so this is left to those in need.

            I can't help thinking though of the person who helped me after I had an accident and the hours that she and her hsband were working. I would dearly like to hope that families like hers could have support from this. I fear though that they may not, because they are working a huge number of hours.

            A Green Party member is staying with me and he says the policy is more aimed at those who are unable to work, no matter how low the unemployment numbers. So not the spouses of workers who may not be unable to get a job. . Not sure if he is correct though. Is he?

    • weka 18.2

      I feel ending poverty should be looked at separately and the changes to the mode of delivery, individualism in benefits as well as tax rate changes should be the ones we look at.

      If benefits are too low then benefits are too low whether or not it is coupled with a wealth tax.

      What do you mean if benefits are too low. Is that not something you accept as real?

      I'm not sure what your first paragraph means. The point of the wealth tax, and income tax adjustments, is to pay for much better welfare so that no-one has to live in poverty. That includes you if you should end up in that situation.

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