Why a change of Government would be a bad thing – school lunches

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, July 14th, 2023 - 63 comments
Categories: chris hipkins, david seymour, Economy, education, politicans, poverty, tax - Tags:

I appreciate that the last week has been tough for leftie activists.  Chris Hipkins’ unilateral ruling out meaningful change to the tax system has caused a number of us to take a deep breath.  The Labour Party needs to work though this and see if his comment is actually part of the election manifesto but I will let others decide on that.

Act leader and Arnold Rimmer lookalike David Seymour has been busy shoring up support for Hipkins.  By proposing a series of bat chit crazy policies that ordinary kiwis, when they realise the repercussions, will rebel against.

Like yesterday’s brain fart, when Act said that because there was a degree of wastage free school lunches should be stopped.

How much is the wastage?

The shock horror headline was that 10,000 school lunches were being wasted every day.  This is an impressive number but when you think that a million school lunches are prepared each week this accounts for 5% of all prepared lunches.  If there is a restaurant out there which has less than 5% wastage I would be pleased to know about them.

The claim is based on Treasury Budget advice to Jan Tinetti.

The advice said:

Evaluations of Ka Ora, Ka Ako to date have found strong outcomes for improving nutrient intake, particularly for those 7.3% of ākonga with least access to sufficient food at home. The programme generally contributes to happier and healthier ākonga overall.

However, the evaluations have found no impact on attendance, and ākonga Māori, who make up around 48% of students receiving the programme, have not benefited on most metrics, such as school functioning (e.g., paying attention in class), health, and mental wellbeing (with mental wellbeing worse off for those in the programme).

This is typically brutal Treasury speak and I am sure they did not ask any teacher who teaches in South or West Auckland what hunger does to a kid’s ability to their ability to learn or their behaviour. And the lingering effects of Covid have had its effect on attendance rates. To ignore this and complain that free school lunches have failed because attendances has not improved is just weird.

The advice also says:

There are also inefficiencies which need addressing, as 12% of lunches (around 10,000 per day) are currently surplus to requirements. MoE is working on a pilot Delivery to Attendance scheme to help manage this.

Treasury may wish to check its math because if a million lunches are delivered each week the wastage figure would be 5%.  With either figure the proportion that is wasted is remarkably low.

The advice appears to rely on this review of the program completed in October 2022.  The review said:

The evaluations of the pilot and expanded programme both demonstrated that Ka Ora, Ka Ako resulted in significantly happier and healthier ākonga across the different age groups and an overall better health quality of live. The most underserved ākonga benefitted even more than other ākonga . The longer-term benefits are not yet known but research suggests these programme benefits, and more broadly adopting healthy eating habits early in life, may lead to positive lifelong benefits for ākonga and more equitable outcomes for those most underserved ākonga.”

The review reported comments on the programme from a number of the schools which took part in the programme.

For instance the staff of Porirua School said about the programme “more than ever, right now, this programme is so important. I’ve had whanau in tears thanking me for the fact that we have the lunches because they are struggling so much”.

So why would you want to cancel a programme with considerable benefits for poor kids?

How about class prejudice?

From Act’s press release:

“The vast majority of parents can take care of their own kids. Politicians shouldn’t be taking over the job of parents. It sends the wrong message and undermines personal responsibility.

“No one will ever spend taxpayer’s money as carefully as their own.

Obviously in Act world it is better to let kids go hungry and ruin their education than it is to interfere with the market.  A market that has been distorted that badly over the past four decades that there are obscene levels of wealth in Aotearoa at the same time that poor parents cannot afford to feed their kids.

National also has been critical and dismissive of the programme in the past and if there was a change of Government it would be pretty likely that the programme would be put on the chopping block.  Tax cuts for the wealthy do not come out of thin air.  They have to be paid for somehow.

I get the upset that Hipkins caused this week by ruling out a wealth tax.  But the this election is between an existing Government that often achieves good or a potentially changed Government that would plunge the country back into the despair that I witnessed in the early 1990s.

Please get active.  Support Labour or the Greens whichever is your kaupapa.  We have to stop David Seymour and Co from seizing power because if they do they will wreck the place.

63 comments on “Why a change of Government would be a bad thing – school lunches ”

  1. Corey 1

    We do have to stop act.

    The parliamentary left needs to realise they are in the fight for the future of NZ and the people they claim to be in politics to represent.

    Without energy and vision from the parliamentary left, it's going to be next to impossible to persuade voters and energize volunteers.

    TPM and NZGP are trying their best, NZLP now needs to step up and fight for their lives. Give us something to believe in .

    I also truly believe, as much as Shaw and Marama are liked by their supporters (and both do have them) they both suck as communicators.

    I know the Green's have rules stopping this, but if they could somehow manage to make Chloe Swarbrick temporarily, the sole leader in the run up to the election like labour did with Jacinda in August 2017, the Green's could have a mini jacindamania moment.

    I could see the Green's get 12-15% with her as leader because she can be exciting, she can be populist and she could energize the election.

    If labours pursuit is solely to get centrist voters off National, Chloe could give disappointed Labour voters who might otherwise not vote, a home, and she likely could get some non voters to vote, growing the overall left block.

    Dreams are free, but if the Green's could make it happen, a better spokesperson for their policies would see them do better than ever have before.

    • You_Fool 1.1

      Why can't Chloe speak up about policies anyway? Nothing wrong with having 3 voices shout the virtues of green to the rooftops… or why not 4 or 5 or 6….

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 2

    ACT…are they just mean ass, punitive scumbags? Well….firstly, it is no act. They truly are. And this kind of thing is part of their core : No such thing as a free lunch. Even for kids.

    And just how bad they are, and would be for NZ, I truly hope we never find out.

    On these kids lunches. FFS, for more than a few…it might be some small actual Kindness….in their lives.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    “Don’t Feed the Kids!!” what an excellent tagline for Sir Rog’ Douglas legacy scumbag party.

  4. Hunter Thompson II 4

    Can't see why ACT would want to announce this. School lunches, even if some are not used, have a benefit to society that almost all voters would support.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.1

      Even that 5% are often given out to be taken home This type of scheme is run in many countries, and is an excellent vehicle for promoting healthy choices and healthy happy settled learners.

      That could be a meme we could use.
      "Keep school lunches with Labour, axe the grinch ."

      Act would rather have Partner Charities making money off the lunch idea, selling cheap fillers. imo

      • Matiri 4.1.1

        My local area school (roll 220) makes sure all surplus lunches go to families in need. Effectively zero wastage. I'm sure this happens in most schools.

  5. Shanreagh 5

    The annoying thing about the ACT announcement is they think that initiatives once introduced remain static, warts and all ie that there are not reviews, no pinpointing of better ways.

    There is wastage but

    MoE is working on a pilot Delivery to Attendance scheme to help manage this.

    We don't get anywhere by seeking perfection in a scheme when we are trying to get food into the stomachs of hungry children.

    Are children encouraged to take leftovers home? Can leftovers be stored safely and delivered to Community pantries or places like Night Shelters?

    From the Treasury report

    Evaluations of Ka Ora, Ka Ako to date have found strong outcomes for improving nutrient intake, particularly for those 7.3% of ākonga with least access to sufficient food at home. The programme generally contributes to happier and healthier ākonga overall.

    To me this is a scary warning of the depths that 'reviews' of Govt spending will go if we let either National or Act anywhere near the levers of power.

    If they do get in expect more of this nitpickery. It is disguised as bottom up, recalibrating, value for money blah, blah. Expect to see groups that cannot fight dirty excessively marginalised by slashes at budgets eg early childhood centres, free Dr's visits.

    Mayor Brown in Auckland used this nitpickery approach when looking for savings, luckily the results had to go back to the full Council and many OTT ideas were defeated. We won't have this luxury if ACT is let loose.

  6. Ad 6

    Let them eat cake …

    … proportionally to the subsidy we have given to business.

    Act should be asked whether they would have supported New Zealand businesses to the tune of $12.1billion out of a recovery package of $61 billion.

    https://www.treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/covid-19-economic-response/overview-covid-19-response-and-recovery-fund-crrf

    Labour's scale of intervention was among the highest per capita in the OECD, and thank holy sweet jesus we did or we wouldn't have an unemployment rate of under 3.5% since July 2021.

    • Tricledrown 6.1

      ACT's simplistic Bean counter approach to economics hasn't worked in any economy.Its Dickensian days where only the very well off get ahead. The majority do much worse.But the psychology of it is that most people have dreams or fantasies about being ultra wealthy that's why lotto is so popular. They Shoot Horses the movie shows how the wealthy keep the poor poor by giving false hope to the vast majority when in truth only 5% of people manage their way out of poverty.The undeserving poor are to blame for their own predicament.The likes of Douglas and Co make sure they portray the poor in a bad light to tar all poor people with the worst examples.Remember Bill English saying welfare recipients were all on drugs . The National got even did research which found 2.5% of welfare recipients were on drugs while the general working population 10% were on drugs.Meanwhile Bill English replacement in the Clutha southland electorate was caught dealing white powder possibly coke or Meth it was whitewashed excuse the pun. That's how National and big business continually undermine the left by lying and repeating the lie.Now ACT chime in saying 5,000 sandwiches are becoming expensive pig food. Maybe Seymour would like us to see less.Not the overall picture of 1,000,000 meals being fed every day to struggling families and most are struggling something ACT and it's supporters are to aloof to have any empathy for at all!

  7. Ad 7

    Also Act won't mind if we kill off Bellamy's obviously, no public salaries, and no expense accounts.

    Go earn their fucking living.

    • Belladonna 7.1

      It's pretty hard to argue that any MP needs to have perks in their job.

      Even backbenchers earn around three times the average salary. For many this is the best-paid job they have ever had, or ever will have.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2023/01/how-jacinda-ardern-s-and-new-zealand-mps-salaries-compare-to-overseas-politicians.html

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        Backbenchers earn around $210k pa, you say?

        • Belladonna 7.1.1.1

          From the article I linked

          Even locally, the newest backbench MPs here earn almost three times the median salary of New Zealanders.

          Note the word "almost" – so considerably more than double, but less than four times. Therefore 'around three times'.

          Backbencher salary: $163,961

          Plus, of course, up to 20% superannuation = giving an extra $32K (the most I can get from my employer under kiwisaver is 3%)

          If you want to be persnickety over the exact percentage – feel free to do the calculations yourself.

          • Incognito 7.1.1.1.1

            Ok, I get it; anything between 2 and 4 times the median or mean salary, whichever suits best, plus Super plus KS and anything else you can think of to be as vague as possible and still be ‘right’ and suit your narrative. Consider a career in politics.

            $164k pa (rounded up your figure; I hope you don’t mind too much) doesn’t sound like “the best-paid job they have ever had, or ever will have”. Luckily for them, many MPs own property.

            • adam 7.1.1.1.1.1

              So your saying MP's are totally out of touch ah incognito?

              Because they have incomes the majority of kiwis can't ever aspire to.

              Or best yet, how about the disabled they say they represent?

              Or our out of touch tory MP's loving on that fact they get to kick the shit of the the bottom 50%, and in doing so, get them to vote against self interest.

            • Shanreagh 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Well the KS % is well above what average wage and salary earners would be entitled to or capable of negotiating from their employer. As BD says she gets 3%. You are lucky if you can persuade your employer to match a contribution of yours if you have opted for 8%.

              I don't begrudge anyone their salary. Nor do I begrudge anyone who opts out of the spend, spend, spend consumerism and provides for their own housing needs or retirement.

              What I do find odd is that in one breath you say disagree with the idea $164,000 may be “the best-paid job they have ever had, or ever will have”, and then in the next breath these same people fall into the fat cats superwealthy that are in need of wealth taxing. Some of the people in the outside world on this kind of salary if they have decided not to opt for the consumerism route and spend, spend, spend may opt to save for retirement or buy a house in a city.

              or was this para meant to have a S tag on it?

              $164k pa (rounded up your figure; I hope you don’t mind too much) doesn’t sound like “the best-paid job they have ever had, or ever will have”. Luckily for them, many MPs own property.

              • Incognito

                KS is not the same as salary, and Belladonna and you know this, but it seems more important to you to win & score a point.

                What I do find odd is that in one breath you say […] and then in the next breath these same people fall into the fat cats superwealthy that are in need of wealth taxing.

                You made this up entirely and put words into my mouth aka you’re bullshitting.

                • Shanreagh

                  KS for employees in fact comes out of their salary after tax (PAYE) has been paid on it by the employee.

                  KS and enhanced rates of contribution from the employer can be a component of a total cost to company (TCC) salary range. Other times KS is additional to salary as sometimes are other components such as health insurance, car with the ability to use after hours, assistance with mortgage costs etc etc

                  If you were enquiring /negotiating you hoped that KS did not come under a TCC basis as this meant that firm had an upper level that included salary and KS. (They were not supposed to do this) Some super scoundrelly firms even tried at times to include the employers contribution in a TCC regime.

                  The way it was supposed to work was that you got a salary and other 'perks' if there were any, the KS was met by you from your salary for your part and by your employer from their overall salary costs for the amount they had agreed to pay.

                  Several firms I worked for had an explicit policy that they supported KS and would match the employee up to 8%. Others just paid the minimum.

                  I recall that both you and Weka did not think it was wrong to for a wealth tax to include KS contributions in the name of the employee. This was despite the idea of having KS to contribute to was Govt policy and despite some of the money in an employee's KS account being the contribution from the employer and the $500 or so that is paid into KS by the Govt. That was what what I referred to.

                  If you think that KS is OK and should not be included in a wealth tax then that is good…..great in fact.

                  Parliamentarians get access to the parliamentary pension scheme which is not KS and their employer meets the employer's contribution to KS of MPs who have a KS account.

                  I would be quite happy to think of KS as part of salary seeing as the employees part does come out of their salary after PAYE has been paid.

                  • weka

                    For clarity, KS is only included in the proposed GP wealth tax for very wealthy people. Most people with a KS won't pay the wealth tax.

                    You are misleading again.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Please. The fact that the Greens wealth tax did not exclude activities that other Govts had encouraged the people of NZ over the years (home ownership and KS) to follow meant that it included in it the seeds of its own destruction, in my view.

                      More's the pity is that it seems to have taken with it the reasonable work being done by The Treasury. (Assets of $5M or over, excludes the family home etc etc)

                      Trying to explain the differences as to why one would not be favoured while the other had positives would have meant the PM would have been in explain mode. Explain mode is not a winning mode.

                    • Incognito []

                      Oh please! Encouraging home ownership and opposing investment & speculation in property through a WT or CGT, for example, are two sides of the same coin.

                      Treasury advised against the exemption of the family home.

                      You have been told these facts many times, by different people. Yet, you continue to mislead others and yourself here on TS. It is obvious you cannot come up with other or better arguments and therefore you recycle the same ones over and over again.

                    • Shanreagh

                      If you live in a city, buy a house in a city, earn say $164,000 as a salary, contribute to KS and are able to save a bit I actually don't think it is just the so called wealthy.

                      Are you happy that the reasonable work being done by the Treasury (on assets of 5m or more, excludes family home) has been swept away? I am not.

                      I would have supported a wealth tax even at the $2M mark if it had excluded the family home.

                      I certainly would have looked carefully at the one like the Treasury was working on as it was well thought out and targetted.

                    • Incognito []

                      There’s no way that someone on a (base) salary of $164k pa can buy a house in a city, ‘contribute to KS and [is] able to save a bit’, comes close to a net wealth of $2M anytime soon. You’re making up stuff in your head. The current situation is that only about 0.7% of people would meet this threshold.

                      I certainly would have looked carefully at the one like the Treasury was working on as it was well thought out and targetted.

                      Excellent, in this case you’d have seen Treasury’s advice on the exemption of the family home.

                    • weka []

                      I think Shanreagh is alluding to people who bought their house the last millenium, have paid off the mortgage, have a KS/investments/savings, and the house has increased dramatically in value in that time. But I’m not convinced there are many people in that situation who have $2m net wealth either.

                      I guess if the mortagage was taken out in 1980, it would be paid off by 2010 and the person could do a higher contribution to KS for the past 15 years, or save additional money. It’s still hard to see many people being over the $2m threshold.

                      For those that are, they can treat the WT as a capital gains tax to be paid when the house is eventually sold.

                      Thing that pisses me off, is Shanreagh’s argument is based on accruing wealth from the property market, denying this, but still being able to sell the freehold house for $1.5m or whatever when the time comes and that being tax free income.

                    • Incognito []

                      The people who’d be affected by the WT are only about 0.7%.

                      People who bought their house more than 10 years ago wouldn’t be affected by the bright-line test. If NACT come in then it might be reduced to 2 years, which is cynical tokenism and they know it.

                      Indeed, people who are mortgage-free can contribute a much larger part of their salary to other investments, be it KS or property or something else. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before as well.

                      Shanreagh’s argument is inherently self-contradictory.

                    • Incognito []

                      Correction: the bright-line does, of course, not apply to the family home!

                    • weka []

                      If you live in a city, buy a house in a city, earn say $164,000 as a salary, contribute to KS and are able to save a bit I actually don’t think it is just the so called wealthy.

                      I would call that well off. But you are right, it’s not the kind of wealthy that the GP are suggesting we apply a WT to. They intentionally set the parameters higher than that. Why do you keep suggesting that such a scenario would be affected by the WT?

                    • Shanreagh

                      I am a little tired of all the misinterpreting of my views, then saying I am the one misleading.

                      I believe that the low threshold in The Greens proposal plus the fact that it included the family home was what was being swept around NZ and formed the concern being picked up by Labour's internal polling. It also included farms and other productive industries.

                      If the policy had included either a higher threshold and the family home or a lower threshold and not the family home it might not have caused so much concern. Of course including productive industries was not well thought out.

                      Sadly the concern has meant that the work being done by The Treasury on this issue has had to be swept away as well, more's the pity. This looked as though it was interesting and had a higher threshold, excluded the family home and seemed to generate a worthy amount.

                      However if a greater tax take is needed, and actually we have not had anything explicit about this, and we do need this explanation, then there are other forms of taxation that may fit the bill

                      death duties

                      tax on empty houses

                      financial transaction tax

                      tracking to make sure that AirBnB payments are being declared

                      Please let's move on from shaking this wealth/cgt issue, its dead and gone.

                      We need to be working to get Labour back in with or without TPM and The Greens being part of a coalition, depending on the preference.

                      I for one do not want a re-run of neo-lib/Chicago School if we can stop this. (For an example of what a Govt with neo-lib/Chicago School influence you just have to look at the thread on school lunches. This is typical of the reach of neo-lib and the way they work.)

                      PS Supporting having a family home or KS does NOT make you a neo-lib, far from it, especially if there is any hint of funding from Govt being included for an individual.

                      .

                  • Incognito

                    KS for employees in fact comes out of their salary after tax (PAYE) has been paid on it by the employee.

                    Yes, that’s the employee’s contribution; your point is?

                    KS is not the same as salary. We agree on this; thank you clarifying.

                    KS is not compulsory and people can and do opt out. In fact, not all MPs have joined KS. We agree on this too; so much common ground.

                    Each Employment Contract is different.

                    Legally, employers must contribute 3% of an employee's gross pay on top of their wages, if they join a KS scheme, unless they come to a different agreement.

                    Your paragraph about Wealth Tax and KS is a diversion to one of your pet peeves. Nobody in NZ pays a WT and nobody suggested that MPs should or would under any WT proposal that I’m aware off.

                    You have not explained why you were bullshitting @ 7.1.1.1.1.2 and creating a strawman.

                    • Shanreagh

                      You have missed most of what I have said before. I had not got from you that we were discussing the employers contribution.

                      KS is part of an employee's salary.

                      KS is not the same as salary,

                      You said it was not earlier on, see above, and that was what I was writing about

                      Legally, employers must contribute 3% of an employee's gross pay on top of their wages, if they join a KS scheme, unless they come to a different agreement.

                      This as I have said could be got around – I gave two examples. If this has been tightened great but I do know one friend when working in a PS adjacent company who was still required to pay for the employer's contribution. This was a rort well known and if it no longer exists I am glad.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yawn! Your diversions & deflections are becoming tiresome. Please give it up now!

                • Belladonna

                  KS comes on top of your salary. If you choose to add 3% of your salary to KS, then your employer is legally required to match this.
                  The Employer contribution is over and above your pay (although it is taxed, at your IRD rate before it’s sent to your nominated KS scheme).

                  The government super scheme for politicans (run under completely different rules to KiwiSaver) – gives them 20%.

                  And is absolutely over and above their salary.

                  I think it entirely reasonable to consider it part of their employment package.

                  And you are the one who appears to be point-scoring over this.

                  • Incognito

                    I think it entirely reasonable to consider it part of their employment package.

                    Yes, I fully agree, absolutely 100%.

                    However, your comparison was specifically about salaries, not total employment packages or whatever. It appears that you are too lazy or sloppy to say what you mean here.

                    Let me ask you what the average salary is in NZ since I’m doubtful that you know this.

                    • Belladonna

                      Ah, yes. The boring ongoing point scoring – and accusing commenters you (clearly) politically disagree with, of laziness or sloppiness.

                      I draw your attention to two – completely off the wall comments made yesterday – neither supported by any evidence – both of which are equally open to accusations of 'laziness' or 'sloppiness' – which you don't seem moved to address.

                      https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-14-07-2023/#comment-1959717

                      https://thestandard.org.nz/why-a-change-of-government-would-be-a-bad-thing-school-lunches/#comment-1959873

                      I shall leave this now, since your next move, no doubt, will be to don your moderator's hat.

                    • Incognito []

                      You’re twisting this exchange from one about your sloppy & lazy commenting to a political disagreement – you conveniently ignore I said “Yes, I fully agree, absolutely 100%”. Unless you’re now resorting to making general accusations about my comments that have little to nothing to do with this, which is a defensive tactic of deflection & diversion.

                      Have you figured out yet the average salary in NZ? Too hard?

                      You obviously cannot and will not see the fundamental difference between your two examples and your own faux pas.

                      The Mod hat defence is another of your cop out & fob off tactics; it is as predictable as NACT saying ‘tax cuts’ or ‘repeal’.

                      Good to move on from this.

                    • Anne

                      Oh dear, the pedantic one has her knickers in a twist because someone dared to suggest she isn't perfect and doesn't know about everything. 😎

  8. rod 8

    Pixie Seymour will say and do anything to get his face into the media. He is pathetic.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      Yes Seymour is an arrogant media hog. imo.

      Striking poses to attract his portion of the voters with offers to them and strikes against those who need help as he gets attention for that showboating.

      The group who need school lunches are not Act supporters so he wants to strip any government help from them. He is provoking and selfagrandising as he knows he will get free advertising and clicks.

  9. Mike the Lefty 9

    I suspect the wastage is probably more than the official figures.

    Why? because in my job I have a lot of contact with schools and the staff attitude to free school lunches is generally like laughing behind someone's back – it is a joke but they don't want to do it openly.

    The free school lunches system is another Labour Party thing that was done, like a lot of their policies, with all good intentions but lacking an understanding of the reality of what was really needed.

    • Johnr 9.1

      Well good on ya M the L.

      You've told us school lunches aren't working and stated that L don't understand the real need. Fair enough.

      Now, how about expanding your diatribe and explain what, in your opinion, should be done or really needed.

      • Mike the Lefty 9.1.1

        I think it should be obvious.

        Lift the standard of living overall and promote good economic policy so that people can afford decent food for their kids instead of fatty sugary junk foodstuffs. Free school lunches should never be more than an interim measure.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.2

      That is a surprise Mike. The schools in Rotorua taking part appear to really value the programme, and a number of parents tell me it is a huge help in these tight times.

  10. SPC 10

    However, the evaluations have found no impact on attendance, and ākonga Māori, who make up around 48% of students receiving the programme, have not benefited on most metrics, such as school functioning (e.g., paying attention in class), health, and mental wellbeing (with mental wellbeing worse off for those in the programme).

    No impact on attendance, despite school attendance falling overall …

    It's interesting that they anticipate good outcomes from the healthier food, but see no immediate gains in health or mental health. Nor better school functioning.

    Might I observe that this school food programme is not occurring in a vacuum, but in a period with a pandemic (reducing the home to school connection and creating new social pressures), families struggling to maintaining a rental in the school zone/economic pressures. This might have an impact on well-being and focus in the classroom.

    My observation is that this is the sort of evaluation that government gets from neo-liberal technocrats whose education was BCa/MBA – in the good old days, the economists came with a solid BA background and were trained to think and explain and analyse. As Bob Jones would put in, one was so much superior to the other – and only one was worth employing.

    • Incognito 10.1

      May I suggest you have a look at on this review of the program completed in October 2022 that was linked in the OP. The Treasury advice picked out the most negative aspects and highlighted these, for some reason.

      • adam 10.1.1

        Your not suggesting the reason would be. That treasure has been capture by libertarian capitalist, these last 40 odd years, and their only goal is to worship at the altar of economic purity.

        Nope no one on the left would dear say that.

        • Peter Kelly 10.1.1.1

          With the obvious feeding of information from within Treasury and the IRD to Nicola Willis over Kiri Allen I am in no doubt the report on school lunches will also have a political agenda. We lost an impartial public service a long time ago.

          • Shanreagh 10.1.1.1.1

            With the obvious feeding of information from within Treasury and the IRD to Nicola Willis over Kiri Allen

            Is this fact or chatter. Link please.

            I had thought that it was people from within the portfolios held by Hon Allen who had expressed concern.

            • Peter Kelly 10.1.1.1.1.1

              https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2023/07/14/captains-call/

              "That there were public servants in Treasury and IRD willing to tell National’s Nicola Willis exactly what questions to ask and which documents to seek in relation to Robertson’s and Parker’s tax plans, had already put the government on the back foot."

              Other than inside information how else would you explain Nicola Willis knowing exactly what documents and dates to request?

              • Belladonna

                I'd simply attribute it to the fact that Nicola Willis had a very strong suspicion that detailed tax policies had been discussed (in part, because Hipkins had ruled out tax changes in the budget and said they would be better dealt with in Labour's election policy).

                This will be an orthodox no-frills Budget focused on funding the things most important to New Zealanders like support with the cost of living and cyclone recovery. There will also not be any major new tax changes like a wealth tax or CGT.

                https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-rules-out-cyclone-levy-no-frills-budget

                In addition Parker had previously released the report on tax which he commissioned from the IRD.

                https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2023-04/SPEECH%20-%20Parker%20HWI%20.pdf

                I'm sure it would have been no surprise to any of us (including Nicola Willis), that detailed discussions about tax policy (including wealth and CGT) had been held within the Government.

                And, indeed, no fishing expedition was required – the data was all in the annual release of budget documents.

                https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/2023-budget-documents-released-today

                Which was acknowledged by Robertson, when he did the media standup around Hipkins statement ruling out wealth taxes.

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/493615/watch-finance-minister-grant-robertson-gives-briefing-on-budget-documents-release

                Robertson said the proactive release occurs every year about eight to 12 weeks after the release of the Budget.

                "As in every Budget, an awful lot of ideas get tested – some of them are accepted, some are discarded.

                Given all of that – what information do you think that the Treasury was secretly slipping Willis?

                • Peter Kelly

                  The leaked information wasn't about the tax changes Belladonna, it was details Nicola Willis required for her fishing expedition re documents referring to Kiri Allen's alleged behaviour.

                  • Belladonna

                    Then why did you use the TDB quote (which was all about tax)?

                    Can you link to your source for deliberate leaks to Willis about Allen?

                    Or is it just 'reckons'?

                    It seems unlikely that the Treasury or the IRD (the sources you claimed) are leaking about Allen as the Minister of Justice and Regional Development – simply because they'd have nothing to leak – they don't give her advice.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Yes agree BD. I think we know that the PServant who did make contact with the media was from a dept that had been one of Hon Allen's or is one of Hon Allen's. There has been a sustained use of the OIA provisions by several Nat MPs notably Simeon Brown fringing around Hon Allens' portfolios. Also you don't have to try very hard around the parliamentary complex to hear stuff about Minister's offices.

                      Just reckons and adding 2 + 2 and making 5.

                      Of course the current silly vibe is that all PS and especially IRD/Treasury and any other Govt dept du jour are full of Nat stooges absolutely wedded to neo lib policies that they secretly work on. I am not sure where they get the time to do all this secret work because all my friends in Govt depts are flat out doing investigations/papers for the current govt of the day to meet the policies of the current govt of the day.

                      The current govt of the day is Labour.

                      When I read this stuff I sigh and think we really need to cover democracy, elections and how Govts work in our school curricula.

                      To me it is bordering on conspiracy theory and surely after the damage that CTs did around the time of Covid and the Parliamentary protest we don't need to buy into any more.

                    • Peter Kelly

                      Fair call Belladonna. But having seen question time and the specific requests for an actual document I remain of the view that specific inside knowledge was required.

                    • Shanreagh

                      @ Peter Kelly.

                      You I know people always want to explain by conspriacy theories but most of the time this is not how it works.

                      Diligent use of OIA provisions and question time plus keeping your ear to the ground will supply much information in an above board manner and there is little need to resort to feeding info out from a Govt dept.

                      Are you sure you are not being trapped by rumours and stuff like this that I referred to?

                      Of course the current silly vibe is that all PS and especially IRD/Treasury and any other Govt dept du jour are full of Nat stooges absolutely wedded to neo lib policies that they secretly work on.

      • SPC 10.1.2

        The Treasury approach to evaluation is based on a simple premise, questioning any use of money that does not appear to deliver a measurable return.

        Thus they will look to focus on the lack of such evidence, than consider the period in which the food in schools programme was operating. Partly because of their disposition to focus on the quantifiable.

        Which is why measures, such as well-being (over the long term), are required to break their thinking out of their neo-liberal silo.

        • Incognito 10.1.2.1

          Here’s the thing though, the program does deliver on several metrics, many in fact.

  11. adam 11

    I mean if you don't own land, are not debt free, nor are physically perfect.

    I'd really question your ability to engage with your own self interest with a vote for act.

  12. Shanreagh 12

    The point about this is that ACT will stop at nothing to redirect funds from worthy activities that are part and parcel of what a good Govt does to areas where the market rules.

    Neoliberalism is contemporarily used to refer to market-oriented reform policies such as "eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers" and reducing, especially through privatization and austerity, state influence in the economy.

    and

    As a public policy, it involves the privatization of public economic sectors or services, the deregulation of private corporations, sharp decrease of government budget deficits and reduction of spending on public works.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism#

    drawing from ths style of economic theory

    One of the bedrock assumptions of the Chicago School is the concept of rational expectations. Friedman's quantity theory of money holds that general price levels in the economy are determined by the amount of money in circulation. By managing general price levels, economic growth can be better controlled in a world where individuals and groups rationally make economic allocation decisions.

    Also beneficial to an economy, according to the Chicago School, is the reduction or elimination of regulations on business. George Stigler, another Nobel Laureate, developed theories regarding the impact of government regulation on businesses. Chicago School is libertarian and laissez-faire at its core, rejecting Keynesian notions of governments managing aggregate economic demand to promote growth.

    and

    Chicago School is a neoclassical economic school of thought that originated at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. The main tenets of the Chicago School are that free markets best allocate resources in an economy and that minimal, or even no, government intervention is best for economic prosperity. The Chicago School includes monetarist beliefs about the economy, contending that the money supply should be kept in equilibrium with the demand for money.

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/chicago_school.asp#

    I worked and lived through the last crazy period of this style of economics (late 80s and 1990s Douglas/Richardson) and observed close up the malign influence of this form of economic theory when it is applied to govt policies relating to people.

    What is value? Oscar Wilde once said that "A fool is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing".

    Quoted in

    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/10765#:~:text=What%20is%20value%3F,and%20the%20value%20of%20nothing%22.

    My plea is for everyone to be aware of this type of economic theory or of any party that says ideas held fast are not worth preserving eg home ownership etc.

  13. newsense 13

    Why we don’t need a change of government:

    Remember when the bosses talked workers into marching to take away their benefits and right to work?
    So they had to act next to the heavily unionised US actors all telling how friendly and lovely they were with their right removed by an express act of parliament?

    And now this: 65,000 members of the union btw.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/300928325/jason-sudeikis-and-other-stars-join-protest-over-future-of-hollywood

  14. Mike the Lefty 14

    Yeah the free school lunches will go under the NACTs because they'll need extra money to fund their promises to fix all the potholes in the roads.

  15. No-Skates 15

    “No one will ever spend taxpayer’s money as carefully as their own."

    Does that not contradict their rhetoric around poor people being poor because they waste their money on frivolous things?

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