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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Excuse me Minister

By   /  July 13, 2016  /  Media Watch, Most Recent Blogs, Susan St John  /  11 Comments

I listened in disbelief to Lisa Owen interviewing Bill English on The Nation. Perhaps they believe their own spin?

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“Kathryn’s Story” highlights the need for major welfare overhaul

By   /  July 2, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  29 Comments

In August 2015 I sat through a whole day of hearing in the High Court on this sad case. What a convoluted sets of arguments were expounded to justify the punitive approach taken by the Crown. That was the latest court event in a 15 year saga in which an unwell beneficiary is being pursued for the repayment of $20 a week.

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Some babies are more special than others

By   /  June 17, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  11 Comments

This week Labour’s bid to get an extension to Paid Parental Leave (PPL) is likely to be stopped in its tracks by a veto from Bill English. For all the wrong reasons.

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Get married stay married and you won’t be poor

By   /  May 31, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  15 Comments

The Family First report, Child Poverty: Don’t Mention Family Structure by Lindsay Mitchell extols the value of the institution of marriage. According to her, family structure is the elephant in the room when child poverty solutions are discussed.

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The rules for the old too good for children?

By   /  May 30, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  19 Comments

This is how Bill English generates surpluses to justify John Key’s election year bribes of tax cuts to the rich.

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Good Policy is rarely done on the run

By   /  April 29, 2016  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda, Susan St John  /  34 Comments

After years of neglect John Key now thinks a selective land tax just might be called for to curb the tearaway housing bubble. The best that can be said is that he has opened a window of opportunity for debate.

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