Latest

Housing is the critical issue for the election

By   /  September 19, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  22 Comments

We are not doing policy development well in New Zealand. Labour now has a real chance here to get it right. There would be time, for example, to investigate the risk-free return method first discussed by the McLeod Tax Review committee in 2001, and more recently by the Gareth Morgan foundation.

Read More →
Latest

Time to get rid of married/single distinctions

By   /  September 6, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  20 Comments

Why do we have big differences between rates of NZ Super? Why does a single sharing pensioner get $ 60 a week more than if their relationship is defined to be in the nature of marriage?

Why does a superannuitant living alone get $90 a week more than a married person?

Read More →
Latest

Black and white or 50 shades of grey?

By   /  August 14, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  35 Comments

In 1994 CPAG was formed in response to the truly appalling changes Ruth Richardson rammed through in the early 1990s that saw rates of child poverty soar along with rates of 3rd world child diseases. Do people really understand that a sole parent’s benefit was cut below the poverty line but if they tried to earn extra money, they lost most of it?

Read More →
Latest

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

By   /  July 18, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  22 Comments

The poor are ground down by a welfare state more befitting the 19th and 20th centuries than today.  But there is at last a bright spot. There were two breathtakingly bold policies buried in the depths of the Green’s paper Mending the Safety Net that have scarcely been discussed:

Read More →
Latest

The Families Package 2017 budget

By   /  July 7, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  11 Comments

It is hard not to be angry. No needy child gets any benefit out of National’s grand plan until April next year.  Always jam tomorrow never jam today. Budgets should be about changes for the current year-not the year after. Shame on them.

Read More →
Latest

Mean and petty and wrong

By   /  June 13, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  18 Comments

It is bad for the democratic process when government to fails to address such a clear injustice especially in this case when it poses little fiscal cost. But we don’t seem to know how to do sensible retirement policy any more.

Read More →
Latest

Let’s have open slather on the 1990s

By   /  May 3, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  24 Comments

I warmed to Jim Bolger considerably after his Mea Culpa moment. His government indeed was responsible for the unfortunate gutting of the unions and the massive redistribution to the wealthy under National’s failed trickle down theory.

Read More →
Latest

What century are we living in?

By   /  April 6, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  37 Comments

I don’t know this woman personally. All I know is that this is a frightening case for its insights into the judicial system.. Shamed for all the world to see in the media, this so called “benefit fraudster has “appealed her sentence in the High Court. Her original sin and conviction was for living with someone that MSD has deemed to be her partner.

Read More →
Latest

Labour/Green Economics – these fiscal rules aren’t the beginning of the end

By   /  March 29, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  11 Comments

The breakfast launch of the joint Labour/Greens fiscal rules policy last week was pleasantly surprising. They actually haven’t boxed themselves into a rigid set of rules. At the outset they downplayed the use of mechanical orthodox indicators like surpluses and net debt to judge success:

Read More →
Latest

What would you do Prime Minister English?

By   /  March 19, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  42 Comments

Bill English claims to be keen on rewarding ‘hardworking’ New Zealanders.

Read More →
Latest

Tax cuts in store but what is Joyce thinking?

By   /  February 21, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  9 Comments

We are beginning to see the colour of Steven Joyce’s eyes. Some insights into his views about who deserves tax cuts can be gleaned from this Herald piece: Economy Hub: About those tax cuts… Steven Joyce, the big interview

Read More →
Latest

Visionless and exclusionary. A good future,​ just for people like Bill

By   /  February 4, 2017  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  33 Comments

To begin to realise Bill English’s dream the first step must be to restore the value of tax credits for low wage families and give all low income children the benefit of the full Working for Families package

Read More →
Latest

Shades of I Daniel Blake

By   /  December 12, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  27 Comments

So MSD have been forcing investigation staff to get at least one prosecution a month, often for the non-crime of ‘relationship fraud’. They have quotas to recover at least $30,000 in debt per month!

Read More →
Latest

A Faire suck of the sauce bottle!

By   /  October 9, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  10 Comments

It is all very weird in a world where a rugby player can do a real crime with real victims and not even get a conviction because it would hurt his career. Women without means can have their lives ruined because they must be made examples of as warning to others, while the plight of their children can be totally ignored. Fairly disgraceful.

Read More →
Latest

Auckland shows government’ policy failures writ large

By   /  September 2, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  17 Comments

Auckland is a two speed city ‘Real Housewives of Auckland’ at one end and desperately poor families living in cars in the middle of winter at the other. The affluent of Auckland are immune to the price system- it just doesn’t matter what things cost. At the other end, lives are spent economising on miserable and insufficient disposable incomes where every last 10 cents and every price rise matters.

Read More →
Latest

NZIFF FILM REVIEW: Tale of two films

By   /  August 1, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Susan St John, The Liberal Agenda  /  8 Comments

I have seen two films this festival set in totally different contexts but with disturbing parallels.

Read More →