Un-employment; under-employment; and the plain unvarnished truth…

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Continued from:    Roy Morgan Poll: Unemployment and Under-employment up in New Zealand!

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Unemployment logo

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TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

This is the plain, unvarnished truth that most New Zealanders don’t know; don’t understand, and quite frankly, many do not want to know or understand. For many – especially National/Act supporters living in their own fantasyland – this is the reality that would shatter their comfortable upper-middle-class world-view.

First, read Mike Treen’s excellent analysis on The Daily Blog, on 30 January;

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EXCLUSIVE - Billions of dollars stolen from the unemployed

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(Note the pathetic and largely ineffectual attempts by right wing blogger; self-proclaimed “social welfare expert”; and ex-Act candidate, Lindsay Mitchell, and one or two other National Party supporters to undermine Mike’s analysis. They are unable to address or answer even the most simple points Mike and others have raised.)

Then, read Matt McCarten’s piece in the NZ Herald, a few days later;

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Matt McCarten - Rose-tinted view cruel fairy tales

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And now, here’s the ‘kicker‘;

According to Statistics New Zealand, which carries out both the five yearly Census as well as the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS), the definition of an employed person is so loose and wide-ranging as to make the term meaningless;

Definitions

About the Household Labour Force Survey

The Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) provides a regular, timely, and comprehensive portrayal of New Zealand’s labour force. Each quarter, Statistics NZ produces a range of statistics relating to employment, unemployment, and people not in the labour force.

The survey started in October 1985 and the first results published were for the March 1986 quarter.

More definitions

The labour force category to which a person is assigned depends on their actual activity during a survey reference week.

This section includes definitions used in the HLFS release. These conform closely to the international standard definitions specified by the International Labour Organization.

Employed: people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment 

  • worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative 

  • had a job but were not at work due to: own illness or injury, personal or family responsibilities, bad weather or mechanical breakdown, direct involvement in an industrial dispute, or leave or holiday.

So, if youworked for one hour” – even without pay! ” – you are automatically classed as employed by this country’s statisticians.

No wonder that the Roy Morgan poll consistently reports that New Zealand has a higher unemployment rate than is generally reported by Statistic NZ’s HLFS or Census.

Quite simply,

  • It appears that our stats are horribly wrong and are under-stating the severity of unemployment in New Zealand by several degrees of magnitude,
  • Lower unemployment figures suit the agendas of successive governments (National, as well as Labour-led),
  • Community organisations are over-worked struggling to put  band-aids on the growing problem of hidden unemployment,
  • New Zealand as a whole suffers through loss of productivity; increasing costs due to poverty; and other socio-economic problems.

When a government agency purports to measure employment and unemployment, and defines being employed as “working for one hour or more”, either paid or unpaid, those are not statistics – they are a sick joke. In effect, we are fooling ourselves as a nation that we have “low unemployment”.

These are not facts – they are propaganda; half-truths; mis-information; lies-dressed-up-as-comforting-facts. The reality – unpalatable as it may be for many – is that our unemployment is much, much worse than we have been led to believe.

If New Zealanders want to keep up this pretense, they will eventually have to “pay the Piper”, as societal problems worsen. And then, the rioting begins.

Note: For future reference, any subsequent use of Statistics NZ data referring to unemployment, in any upcoming blogposts,  will carry the caveat;

Definition of Employed (by Statistics NZ) includes any person who is;

  • anyone working for only one hour (or more)
  • anyone not paid for their labour

Accordingly, Statistics NZ information may not present a fully accurate picture of this country’s unemployment/employment rates.”

*** Up-date ***

The HLFS results for the December 2013 Quarter reported a “drop” in unemployment from 6.2% to 6.0%.

Interestingly, as Radio NZ reported, “the fall in unemployment did not match the pick up in jobs, due to more people searching for work“.

This ties in with the fact that “employment” is defined as anyone working for one hour (or more).

If more people are looking for work, this suggests any number of factors,

  • The HLFS survey is failing to pick up accurate numbers of unemployment,
  • Statistics NZ’s definition for unemployed is too narrow,
  • The number of under-employed is (as Roy Morgan reveals) so high as to mask real unemployment.

Also interesting to note that the drop in the HLFS survey results mirror the fall in Roy Morgans polling, further lending credibility to the latter.

 

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References

Statistics NZ: Hours Worked in Employment

Scoop News:  New Zealand Real Unemployment at 9.1%

Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey: June 2012 quarter

The Daily Blog: EXCLUSIVE: Billions of dollars stolen from the unemployed

NZ Herald: Matt McCarten: Rose-tinted view cruel fairy tales

Roy Morgan: New Zealand real unemployment down 0.3% to 8.5% and a further 8.6% (down 1%) of workforce are under-employed

Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey: September 2013 quarter

Scoop News: Inequality keeps rising, says UC social research expert

Statistics NZ:  Labour market statistics for the December 2013 quarter

Radio NZ: Unemployment falls to 6 percent

Previous related blogposts

The REAL level of unemployment

Roy Morgan Poll: Unemployment and Under-employment up in New Zealand!

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unemployed welfare beneficiaries paula bennett

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 6 February 2014.

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= fs =

98 COMMENTS

  1. I would really, really like to see things put in place to encourage people to start their own small enterprises.
    Economies of scale are destroying the opportunity for people operate in smaller ways, meaning that they are at the beck, call and whim of larger organisations for jobs which are often unfulfilling, especially when it comes to the bank account.
    Where once we had small owner operators of various businesses nowadays they are faceless corporates employing a few people to flog imported gear which has to not last any great length of time in order to keep the process going.
    Time for a new order and it’s not the one we are getting where we mindlessly trawl the malls in search of our satisfaction with life at the end of a credit card

  2. (Note the pathetic and largely ineffectual attempts by right wing blogger; self-proclaimed “social welfare expert”; and ex-Act candidate, Lindsay Mitchell, and one or two other National Party supporters to undermine Mike’s analysis. They are unable to address or answer even the most simple points Mike and others have raised.)

    Why don’t you link to them?

    http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/2014/02/lindsay-mitchell-matt-mccartens-claims.html

    And BTW I have never claimed to be an “expert”. Have you a link to an example where I have?

    My politics are not right-wing. They are socially and economically liberal.

    You write about the HLFS definitions as if they are new. They’ve been the same under successive governments. They may be inadequate in your opinion but they are consistent with other jurisdictions which allows NZ to compare itself internationally.

    “Since the mid 1980s the HLFS has been adopted as the official measure of the numbers of unemployed and the unemployment rate together with other related labour market statistics such as the labour force participation rate and the employment rate. As Statistics New Zealand states, the HLFS ‘was specifically designed to provide more consistent and accurate measurement of employment and unemployment trends in the labour market’ and provides ‘a comprehensive understanding of labour market trends’. [11] Being based on International Labour Organisation standards, it also allows international comparisons to be made.

    This survey replaced the previous official unemployment figures based on the registration of the unemployed. [12] It provides a much more precise measurement that is not affected by wider circumstances beyond labour market activity such as welfare benefit eligibility and family situation. It is seasonally adjusted to take account of fluctuations. It takes account of labour-force activity only for the person him/herself.”

    http://www.parliament.nz/mi-nz/parl-support/research-papers/00PLEcoRP2014011/unemployment-and-employment-statistics-the-household-labour

    Note the reference to “welfare benefit eligibility” being an imprecise measure of unemployment.

    • And BTW I have never claimed to be an “expert”. Have you a link to an example where I have?

      I refer to your own website, Lindsay,

      Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare.

      As for the rest of your post, I notice you don’t actually counter the points I’ve raised.

      Just because this is the way the system has been done in the past is not a validation that it is still accurate. (After all, that was the initial rationale for introducing the HLFS – to make it a more accurate measuring system to registered unemployed.)

      The 2013 Census and successive Roy Morgan polls indicate that the HLFS is under-stating the degree of unemployment in this country.

      My politics are not right-wing. They are socially and economically liberal.

      I think most people would perceive your politics as right-wing. After all, you stood as an ACT candidate, and ACT positions itself to the right of National. Your pronouncements on “welfare dependency” certainly lends to your credentials as right wing.

      • As for the rest of your post, I notice you don’t actually counter the points I’ve raised.

        Well, that’s most likely because she was responding to your assertion that her rebuttal of Mike Treen’s claim of huge numbers of unemployed being excluded from the social welfare system was “pathetic and largely ineffectual.” Her rebuttal of it looked well-founded to me – certainly, having read it I can’t look on Mike Treen’s graph as the “plain, unvarnished truth” about unemployment.

          • My response to those points is that it seems to me that:

            1. The HLFS isn’t a very useful measure of unemployment.

            2. Stats NZ doesn’t appear to be offering any better measure.

            3. Having no accurate measure of unemployment is quite useful to governments because they can play games with the stats they do have – especially National governments, because they’re in the tricky position of wanting a good big pool of unemployed to keep downward pressure on wages and conditions, but also wanting to conceal that goal from voters.

            4. Unfortunately, the unreliability of the unemployment measurement also means that graphing beneficiary figures against unemployment figures and trying to draw conclusions from them is doomed to failure.

            • Pints 1 to 3 -spot on.

              Point 4 – we’ll have to see what Mike comes up with tomorrow.

              In the meantime, the HLFS can be seen only as a very rough guide. Very rough.

              Especially when,

              (a) anyone working one hour (or more) whether paid or unpaid is considered “employed”.

              and,

              (b) Looking for work by looking through a newspaper only is not considered to be “a job seeker”.

              Anyways, you got the points I was making.

  3. By the way, Lindsay, I noted your comment on the blog, “Breaking Views”, the website belonging to the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, a right-wing “think tank” set up by your ex-colleague and ex-ACT MP, Muriel Newman,

    The sickness and invalid benefits have increasingly become de facto unemployment benefits. The OECD refers to this phenomena as “medicalisation” of labour market problems. Being long-term unemployed can and does make people ill. It’s a problem all developed countries are grappling with.

    This is the sort of mis-information that we’ve come to expect from right wing commentators.

    You have not referred to ACC policy of pushing long-term ACC clients from their books, on to social welfare. This means that whilst the number of ACC clients is reduced, the numbers on Invalids/sickness benefits climbs.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/ACC-staff-rewarded-for-cutting-off-clients—MP/tabid/1607/articleID/258577/Default.aspx

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10814678

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7151476/No-one-pushed-off-entitlements-ACC-chief?

    How else to explain that as unemployment and DPB recipents dropped in the mid-2000s, the numbers on invalids/sickness benefits climbed?

    After all, since most people are on unemployment for approximately a year, the numbers on “long term unemployment” would be too small to account for the large rise in Invalids/Sickness beneficiaries

    (And as an anecdote, I witnessed first hand how this was carried out in the late 1990s, with a woman who had injured her back lifting a patient at an old folks’ home. She was eventually pushed off ACC and onto an Invalids Benefit.)

    So instead of creating terms like “medicalisation of labour market problems” and blaming welfare by suggesting that “Being long-term unemployed can and does make people ill” -the root-cause is one government SOE shifting responsibilities to another Government department.

    That rise can only be attributed to ACC’s deliberate policy of abrogating it’s responsibility to it’s clients.

  4. Economic data overwhelmingly points to an economic recovery that is the direct result of policies that are anathema to the left. The result is that in an attempt to divert attention from what is really happening, official data has to be rejected, and any data, no matter how unreliable (e.g. the Roy Morgan survey) must be adopted as gospel.

    The HLFS is not perfect, but it provides a trend. And the trend is very, very encouraging.

    NZ has the lowest jobless rate since 2009.

    Employment is growing at 3% annually.

    No matter how you spin it, this Government’s policies have protected the most vulnerable in society and at the same time brought the country out of the deepest recession in a lifetime.

    • “Economic data overwhelmingly points to an economic recovery that is the direct result of policies that are anathema to the left …

      […]

      …this Government’s policies have protected the most vulnerable in society and at the same time brought the country out of the deepest recession in a lifetime.”

      So if those policies are leading to “recovery” (?) – are those the same policies that led to the GFC/recession?

      Or are you only taking credit, on behalf of your masters, for the good stuff?

      And I don’t suppose the global economic upturn has anything to do with our own economic situation, do you think, IV?

      Your willingness to only see the “good news” is touching – but ignores the reality of dodgy stats and under-employment. Hence why your comments are seen as farcical.

      “Spin”, you say?

      Yes, indeed.

      • “So if those policies are leading to “recovery” (?) – are those the same policies that led to the GFC/recession? ”

        You clearly need reminding that it was a Labour Government that was in power when the recession began, and it was their policies that had NZ in recession before the GFC.

        “And I don’t suppose the global economic upturn has anything to do with our own economic situation, do you think, IV?”

        So your position is that Government policies are responsible when the country goes into recession, but not when it comes out? Seriously Frank, your credibility is shot.

        Well think on this. NZ is coming out of recession well ahead of most other nations.

        • “So your position is that Government policies are responsible when the country goes into recession, but not when it comes out? ”

          Nope. That appears to be your assertion, not mine. You’re claiming credit for an economy coming out of recession, but not responsibility for when NZ went into it.

          Can’t have one without the other.

          • The policies that took NZ into recession before most other countries were those of the last Labour led Government.

            The policies that are taking us out of recession before most other countries are those of a National led Government.

            Two separate sets of policy settings. Two separate results.

            • I doubt anyone would take ‘credit’ for the economic management of the last Labour Government, Frank. Between paying a massive premium for a train set, setting up a bank that has never paid a dividend, massively increasing Government spending, leaving the country with a long term internal deficit problem and having the country in recession before anyone else…well that’s a hard act to follow.

              • You mean like low unemployment (even taking dodgy HLFS results into account); good growth; solid wage increases?

                And most of all, Labour paid down the massive sovereign debt it inherited from the Nats.

                But of course, you choose to ignore that, eh?

                And the bit about the country being in recession before anyone else? Again,. not quite the full story.

                You keep telling half-truths (or outright lies), IV. Is that all you can base your Key-fetish on?

                • Good growth? Not when they were kicked out Frank. They spent the surpluses on election bribes and other socialist puffery, and left the country with a huge and unresolved internal debt problem that this Govt. Has had to fix. And however you spin it, we were moving in to recession early, the result of an incompetent Govt of whom the current Labour leader was an integral part.

    • Piffle.

      Strong economic growth is reflected in improved revenues – but Treasury are even now down playing expectations as receipts are not growing as anticipated.

      This is a surge in election year propaganda, and will be accompanied by the spending of the war chest acquired by massive borrowing and the sale of stolen state assets.

      This government’s economic management has been utterly worthless.

      • Your desperate attempt to downplay NZ’s position is simply not supported by the facts.

        1. Unemployment at it’s lowest rate since 2009.
        2. Inflation at 1.4% (3 2013) compared to 5.1% in 2008.
        3. Mortgage Interest Rates at 5.8% compared to 9.6% in 10/08.
        4. GDP Growth of 3.5%, compared 0.8% for 2008.
        5. Current Account deficit as a % of GDP at 4.3%, compared to 8.8% in 2008.

        These are real numbers that no amount of propaganda can gloss over.

        • “1. Unemployment at it’s lowest rate since 2009.”

          Only if you believe the stats unquestioningly. As I’ve demonstrated (and which you are still ignoring), the HLFS is flawed.

          Under-employment is also a factor, as the HLFS categorises anyone working one hour (or more) as “employment.

          “2. Inflation at 1.4% (3 2013) compared to 5.1% in 2008. ”

          As opposed to 5.3% in June 2011? Well, well, well… So National caused high inflation in 2011?!

          http://www.rateinflation.com/inflation-rate/new-zealand-historical-inflation-rate

          “3. Mortgage Interest Rates at 5.8% compared to 9.6% in 10/08.”

          You still maintain that government’s determine interest rates, IV?! That indicates your level of understanding.

          But if you want to go down that road, in October 2008, Kiwbank cut interest rates to 7.79%. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10539037

          Can I credit that to Labour?

          Mortgage interest rates were higher still in the 1990s, under National. Can we lay the blame to National for that?

          http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/mortgage_rates/

          And when interest rates reach 7-8% in a year’s time – will you accept that wasa caused by National?

          “4. GDP Growth of 3.5%, compared 0.8% for 2008.”

          You keep claiming the upturn from the recession as something National achieved. This is rubbish. It beggars belief you can claim credit something occurring globally.

          Considering our two main trading partners are China and Australia (both of which escaped the recession in the main part), it would be surprising if the global upturn did not benefit us.

          But caused by National? Pull the other leg, IV.

          “5. Current Account deficit as a % of GDP at 4.3%, compared to 8.8% in 2008. ”

          The one stat that is actually correct. But not for the reasons you think.

          Current accounts are the difference between what a country earns and spends overseas.

          Up till 2008, the Current Account was in deficit because,

          (a) we imported more,
          (b) we borrowed more for private spending (mortgages, investment, etc)
          (c) foreign own companies made profits which were remitted to offshore investors/shareholders

          During the recession, not only did we spend less importing from overseas, but companies remitted less profits to off-shore shareholders as company turnover dropped.

          You will find that in economic boom times, our current account deficit will worsen. In recessionary times, as we spend less and fewer profits are remitted offshore, the Current Account improves (as long as we continue to export, to earn income).

          This is evidenced by the smaller billion deficit in 2009/2010, during the height of the recession: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/economy/overview/2012/24.htm

          Congratulations. You got one out of five correct.

          Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with National. It was called the GLOBAL financial crisis for a reason.

          Consider yourself informed.

          The figures may be real. But it’s your ‘spin’ that is propaganda.

          Keep trying.

          • 1. The HLFS is the official measurement Frank. And it has been since the mid 1980’s. The trend is what counts, and the trend is all good.
            2. June 2011 is 2.5 years after coming to power. Q3 2013 annual inflation was 1.3%.
            3. You really don’t have a grip on basic economics do you Frank? Interest rates are affected by a number of monetary policy instruments, including Govt debt (and hence borrowing), Govt. spending, etc.
            4. NZ is moving out of recession considerably ahead of most other nations. Our current growth is directly and indirectly attributable to a number of Govt. policies, including labour market reform, low interest rates, low cost price inflation.
            5. Do you actually believe what you wrote on the CAD? Sigh…perhaps you do. So think on this. The recession was global. Therefore our trading partners were also in recession. Therefore demand for our goods was under pressure, just as our demand for overseas goods. We are a comparatively wealthy nation, therefore our demand is likely to decline less than some of our trading partners.

            Frank you are very good at presenting one side of every story. Broaden your horizons, and the light will shine in.

        • By the way, IV, Key’s management of the economy is so brilliant that we are now $60 billion in debt and New Zealand was downgraded by Standard and Poors and Firch ratings agencies.

          Strangely enough, NZ is only ever down-graded when a RIGHT WING government is in power – never a left wing one.

          Why is that?!

          • Most nations were downgraded Frank not just NZ. The main reason for the downgrade was the large structural deficit inherited from the last Labour led government. What you also fail to grasp is that the rating agencies were calling for a more agressive approach to reducing the deficit i.e. government spending cuts. This so called hard right government of National ignored that call. Would you have preferred it if they had cut more aggressively?

              • The Treasury predicted budget deficits from 2008 onwards till later on in this decade. 2017 I believe was the date they stated that was the earliest NZ government spending would fall below revenue. This is a structural deficit left by Labour. You have been advised about this on numerous occasions but choose to ignore it.

                • No, Gosman, as I’ve pointed out to you in the past (and you continually ignore), Treasury’s prediction of deficits related to the Global Financial Crisis – not to Labour’s fiscal record.

                  In fact, my dear Pedant, John Key has had to admit as such,

                  “The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.”

                  http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx

                  “If you go back to 2005, when the previous government were in office, they had a number, you know, a little bit less than ours, but not a lot less, there was a 180,000 children in poverty, I think this shows 240,000 on that measure.

                  Back then, New Zealand recorded the biggest surplus in New Zealand’s history…”

                  http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/mind-gap-key-tackles-child-poverty-video-5766147

                  someone elses text

                  And of course, we all know (except you) that Labour paid down NZ’s sovereign debt;

                  http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010/bps/04.htm/bps10-03.gif

                  I’ll keep reminding you of the facts every time you engage in your fantasies…

                  • That is simply not accurate. A recession does not cause structural deficits. This is because the Treasury cannot predict how long a recession will last. The Treasury would not predict a decade of deficits based on the GFC alone but on the projected revenue and expenditure of the Government over the period in question in a range of economic conditions.

                  • Frank you are getting confused between deficits and debt. Go back over what Gosman and I have ben saying. You’re beginning to look a little silly.

                    • “Frank you are getting confused between deficits and debt.”

                      Well, let’s see…

                      It can’t be deficits – Michael Cullen post nine straight surpluses in a row.

                      And it can’t be debt – as Labour paid most of it off.

                      So unless you guys are referring to a New Zealand in a Parallel Universe, or, New Zealand during the Bolger years – you’ll need to be a whole heap more clearer.

                      And by the way, IV, Gosman has made these same “points” before. He regurgitates them on a regular basis.

                      No doubt he’ll repeat himself in March…

                    • Actually Intrinsicwhatever, Frank makes more sense than you do. He’s presented the information and you’ve deliberately pretended not to understand it.

                      That makes you either a right wing troll or incredibly stupid. Maybe both, who knows.

                    • Frank you keep ignoring what the PREFU report from Treasury stated in 2008 before National took control of the government. This is the reason it keeps getting repeated to you. Treasury, (not National nor some right wing think tank), predicted a decade of structural budget deficits from 2008 onwards. This was under the spending and revenue regime put in place by Labour not National. Structural deficits are not the same as cyclical deficits which are caused by dips in the economic cycle. Therefore the deficit National inherited was not caused by the GFC. This is why we have PREFU now. So people like you can’t rewrite history to serve your own political ends.

                    • Did the PREFU include the billions in lost tax revenue handed back as tax cuts by National when they took control? You can’t point to the need for National to borrow billions without acknowledging that some of that debt climbed because of tax cuts.

                      You seem to be saying that Labour left the budget so out of kilter that there were structural deficits which has required National to borrow as much as it has. Well some of that might be true, but the political decision to borrow for tax cuts while giving away that tax revenue can be challenged.

                    • There was not billions lost in tax revenue. That is just leftist spin. The evidence for this is that the budget will be back in surplus around three years before Treasury predicted it would be. Care to explain that?

                • The Treasury predicted budget deficits from 2008 onwards till later on in this decade

                  Yes, the Treasury predicted that if the government kept spending during a global financial crisis at the rate it had been spending during a time of massive surplus, there’d be continual budget deficits. The incoming government filed this under “Well, duh” and cut the spending a bit (a bit, mind you, not a lot, because they weren’t complete idiots and accepted that real austerity measures would make a much worse mess than just accepting budget deficits for a couple of terms).

                  You seem to be working that up into some kind of criticism of Labour for spending more during a time of surplus than would be possible in a time of shortage – it’s a criticism that makes no sense whatsoever.

                  • PM the last Labour Government were profligate spenders and bribers. WFF is middle class welfare, a huge mistake that Cunliffe is intent on repeating with this “poverty is earning $150k per year” mantra on the baby bonus.

                    The waste in the health sector in particular was just staggering. Labour seemed to think it could mop up it’s unemployed by a massive state sector expansion. Thankfully those days are over.

                    • Same to you as I posted for Intrinsicallystupid above; Frank has shown the differences. He’s quoted chapter and verse to you and your trolling partner-in-crime but you’ve ignored it.

                      If you’re unable or UNWILLING to understand what he’s posted, I suggest that is your comprehension problem , not his.

        • These are real numbers that no amount of propaganda can gloss over.

          These are real numbers that show NZ is better off now than it was at the worst point of a global financial crisis – not exatly a ringing endorsement.

            • And yet, IV, you did claim this;

              And however you spin it, we were moving in to recession early, the result of an incompetent Govt of whom the current Labour leader was an integral part.

              2014/02/07 at 7:17 am

              The policies that took NZ into recession before most other countries were those of the last Labour led Government.

              2014/02/06 at 9:54 pm

              Even if 2008 was not “the worst”, according to you we were already in recession.

              Are you retracting? Or just shifting goal-posts to suit your argument-of-the-moment?

              • There are two different things, Frank. A recession and a global financial crisis.

                My comment at 1.25 referred to the GFC. My earlier comments referred to the recession. The one NZ was in before most other nations.

                • re your comment to Frank “There are two different things, Frank. A recession and a global financial crisis. ”

                  Oh don’t be so bloody pedantic. It just shows you are desperate.

                  No wonder the right wing lose these debates.

                  • In the context of Frank misinterpreting the data, the distinction is very important Priss.

                    Frank claimed I contradicted my self, when in fact I was referring to two different events.

                    The GFC and the recession NZ went into before anyone else were two different things.

    • No matter how you spin it, this Government’s policies have protected the most vulnerable in society and at the same time brought the country out of the deepest recession in a lifetime.

      Nice to see you recognise the value of the welfare system in a modern society.

          • Oh no Frank, not everyone. Although an unfortunate side effect of social welfare is that it does produce at least some.

            • How many is “some”?

              You keep saying there are bludgers, but you never specify how many. 1%? 10%? 66%? 100%?

              You’re attempting to cast blame on an entire demographic.

              That’s like continually casting aspersion on (all) male early childhood workers as child abusers.

              Or to put it into a context you’ll understand, that (all) landlords are thieving, exploitative, slumlords.

              Would you care to be tarred by such a brush?

              • “You’re attempting to cast blame on an entire demographic.”

                By using the term “some”??? Some on Frank, you can do better than that. Some beneficiaries are bludgers. I have no idea the proportion, none, and I really don’t care. When it’s taxpayers money, and it’s potentially taking money away from families who need it more, even one is too many.

                • Some beneficiaries are bludgers. I have no idea the proportion, none, and I really don’t care.

                  Excellent. Now we’re getting somewhere.

                  You admit you don’t know. A bit of
                  guesswork with some lazy prejudice.

                  So really, all you’ve got is bullshit prejudice – which any fool can parrot – but without the added requirement to critically think it through.

                  *pffft!*

                  • No prejudice, just observation. If you seriously believe there are no bludgers, I have to wonder where you spend your life.

                    • The question is, Intrincallypathetic – where do you spend yours? In front of a keyboard 24/7?

                      When it comes to prejudice, you have it in spades.

                      Admit it, Frank ran rings around both of you idiots and you’re now resorting to obtuse arguments. Angels and head of pin stuff.

                      You and Gosling make me laugh!

                      Thanks for the Sunday morning entertainment, Frank. I’ll be back more often! LOL!

                    • Why is that the question? After all I’m gainfully employed, I earn a living, a contribute back a great deal to society, and I take no money from the Government.

                      How about you?

                    • Found it! A classic example of bludgers. Names, details and even locations!

                      Available today in the Sunday Star Times article on street beggars in Auckland.

                      Read and learn Frank and Priss (or are you the same person?) Read and learn.

  5. To the rightwing quibblers on this (and many other) thread/s.

    While welfare provides protection for those who find themselves out of work, Intrinsic Value is correct when they say it creates bludgers – the worst sort of bludgers: those who want wages to be less than what covers a workers’ living costs. These bludgers bludge off their workers lives so they can make more money than they need.

    It is time that the discussion becomes about an economic system that ensures enough jobs for all people in this society because these people on this thread quibbling over whether Macskasy has got it correct – that the unemployment/underemployment statistics are being reported lower than they are – that “NZ has the lowest jobless rate since 2009”. (Oh that is alright then) really make me sick – because this is peoples’ lives you are talking about and this argumentativeness is all a distraction from the fact that no government or private initiative has been aiming to ensure that there is enough work for all in this country for at least 30 years.

    Taking away a person’s livelihood can easily be likened to taking away their life – and then making it a million times worse: any protection provided for those in such unfortunate circumstances is quibbled over to the ‘nth degree.

    Make this discussion over providing livelihoods.

    That there are people in this country who do not have a livelihood is an absolute disgrace, that those that need help ‘don’t qualify’ is an utter travesty, that the wages of some jobs don’t cover living expenses is an absolute disgrace and the culture of those in good circumstances is revolting: not wanting to pay their way and not wanting to invest in job creation nor provide a living wage when they do – all for more profit – this is an utter disgrace.

    To make it worse these disgraceful self serving bludging types project their meanness of spirit on people in the most unfortunate circumstances in this country – and by doing so promote policies that will only create more misfortune for more people.

    You quibblers should wake up to what you are doing to people and be ashamed – very ashamed – because you and your ilk are an utter disgrace and are undermining the very fortunate circumstances you yourselves are enjoying by your mindless, self-absorbed, ‘self protective’, small minded attitudes.

    ‘Ackshully’, what you are doing is biting the very society that feeds your good fortune and the politics you promote will undermine your own good fortune along with everyone elses’. This is not clever and not well bred. It is disgraceful.

      • This writer expresses some fascinating ideas.

        I think blueleopard should be applauded for its notion of politics and for swallowing the propagandised notion of “Freedom and Democracy” as being a way to create the greatest good for the greatest number.

        It is wonderful that so many people still believe this and that people like me can help to explain how futile blueloepard’s mission is.

        • @ Bruce Collings

          I fail to understand where you are coming from with your comment.

          “I think blueleopard should be applauded for its notion of politics and for swallowing the propagandised notion of “Freedom and Democracy” as being a way to create the greatest good for the greatest number.”

          I wrote a scathing comment about the disgracefulness of rightwing opinions being expressed here and elsewhere – not something largely focussed on ‘Freedom and Democracy’.

          Is your objection that you believe that there are not people in this country who are not> in the top 0.01% of wealthy people</b yet support policies that solely further the interests of those in the top 0.01% of wealthy people in this country?

          Do you think I have been 'propagandised' into believing that right-wing policies advantage only this group?

          If this is so, how could you believe right-wing policies serve any other groups' interests?

          Or is it that perhaps you believe that those governing society should only address the interests of the top 0.01% of wealthy people in this country ?

          Do you believe democracy should be about creating the greatest good for the greatest number or not?

          It is wonderful that so many people still believe this and that people like me can help to explain how futile blueloepard’s [sic] mission is.

          Believe what?

          What have you explained?

  6. Gosman;

    “To help you attempt to understand the difference between a structural deficit versus a cyclical one.”

    Even better, Gosman; this is from the NZ Treasury:

    “New Zealand ran fiscal surpluses for about 15 years from 1994 to 2008. These surpluses strengthened the government balance sheet allowing net debt to fall from 1993, and net worth to rise through the period. This helped counter the growing private sector domestic and external indebtedness.

    The government’s operating balance went into structural deficit[9] in 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015. The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]”

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm

    So there you have it, IV and Gosman.

    1. Treasury DID predict a decade of deficits.

    2. The government’s operating balance WENT INTO STRUCTURAL DEFICIT IN 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015/25.

    3. Governments ran surpluses from 1994 to 2008.

    4. “The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]”

    The last point is particularly salient and was caused by;

    (a) The GFC, which National had no control over,

    (b) Two unaffordable tax cuts which National was irresponsible enough to promise in 2008, and implemented in ’09 and ’10. (Read the rest of the Treasury report.)

    I understand I’m wasting my time posting this information. I’ve no doubt you’ll both be off on another tangent again.

    But I live in hope.

    • “(b) Two unaffordable tax cuts which National was irresponsible enough to promise in 2008, and implemented in ’09 and ’10. (Read the rest of the Treasury report.) ”

      Once again you demonstrate your total lack of economic literacy. Tax cuts provide people with more disposable income. People either spend or save that disposable income. Both is good for the economy, particularly the former in a recession.

      The Government ran a very fine line between reigning in Govt. spending (and with it the legacy of deficits they inherited) and borrowing to protect the most vulnerable from the GFC. As it turns out the data shows they’ve done a damn good job.

  7. Gosman says:
    February 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Frank you keep ignoring what the PREFU report from Treasury stated in 2008 before National took control of the government.

    The Treasury report above is from a January 2011 Savings Report – not 2008.

    • I grow tired of highlighting this to you Frank so this will be the last time I link to the 2008 PREFU

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/prefu2008/027.htm

      Please note it is in 2008 not 2011 as you erroneously try and spin it for some reason.

      The figures you should be interested in is 2.12. Note the huge drop in the OBEGAL (operating balance before gains and losses or budget surplus/deficit) from 2007.

      The projected deficit stays around till 2018.

      Now can you explain the fact that the Government looks to have brought the accounts back in to the black three years before forecast?

    • I’ll respond to your post of 3.44pm, which was directed at me.

      You don’t understand Frank that deficits are not debt.

      When Labour left office they left the country facing 10 years of deficits. 10 years. That was not, as you would spin it, the result of the GFC, but the result of a an economic policy that massively boosted public spending, and deprived the private sector of the infrastructure required to prosper, which in turn had the country doing into recession before much of the rest of the world.

      This is all very common knowledge Frank, to anyone with an iota of economic literacy, and with both eyes open.

      • Frank keeps ignoring the 2008 PREFU which states this in cold hard statistics. The reason he does so I suspect is a combination of lack of financial nous and his ideological bias. A good question for him though is why doesn’t the Labour party parrot his line if it is so crystal clear it is correct? Bill English is taking the position we are pushing but Labour is quite silent on this structural deficit left by them in 2008.

        • Tell me Gosman – why are you so focused on a 2009 Treasury Report when there is a more up-to-date 2011 version?

          Logically, even someone as pedantic as you must realise that a document that is more recent is more accurate?

          Or are you unable to address what the 2011 “Saving New Zealand: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Barriers to Growth and Prosperity: Final Report to the Minister of Finance” contains?

          Because the 2011 documents refers to National’s structural deficit and your mind will explode if you try thinking about it too long about it?

          You need to move on from 2008. Really.

          • …and Frank the 2011 report does not refer to ‘National’s’ structural deficit, because there was no such thing. The deficit referred to was from 2009. How can a govt elected in late 2008 be responsible for a structural deficit in 2009?

            What are putting forward is absolute nonsense Frank.

      • You must have missed my 4.04 post above. Let me point it out to you;

        “New Zealand ran fiscal surpluses for about 15 years from 1994 to 2008. These surpluses strengthened the government balance sheet allowing net debt to fall from 1993, and net worth to rise through the period. This helped counter the growing private sector domestic and external indebtedness.

        The government’s operating balance went into structural deficit[9] in 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015. The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]“

        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm

        So there you have it, IV.

        1. Treasury DID predict a decade of deficits.

        2. The government’s operating balance WENT INTO STRUCTURAL DEFICIT IN 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015/25.

        3. Governments ran surpluses from 1994 to 2008.

        4. “The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]”

        You can argue it till the cows come home. But it’s there in black and white.

        In fact, read my whole 4.04 post and then read the Treasury report here:http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm

        Test on Monday.

        • When are you going to address Gosman on the 2008 PREFU? You continued avoidance is very disingenuous.

          And from your own cite:

          “Through the past decade the government and its advisers thought that increases in revenue each year signified a structural surplus (i.e., a positive fiscal balance on average over the economic cycle). Hence money was available that could be spent or returned to taxpayers as tax cuts. This indeed happened – spending ratcheted up and then taxes were cut in 2008 and 2009. But the “structural” assumption was wrong and when GDP growth slowed with the recession and the GFC, revenue fell from a decade peak of 34.5% of GDP in 2006 to 32.2% in 2009.”

          Labour got it wrong Frank. In more ways than one.

          Now stop running and address the 2008 PREFU.

          • It’s obvious why you prefer an out-of-date 2008 document rather than a more recent one.

            Really, IV, you and Gosman can’t address the data I’ve presented?

            Fixating on an out-of-date document instead of a newer version suggests that neither of you can answer the points raised. (Except the bit you cherry-picked above.)

            That is blindingly obvious.

            • That’s just plain evasion Frank. The 2008 PREFU was the document that outlined the situation left by the outgoing govt. There is nothing to address in your data Frank. Nothing. In fact it shows just how incompetent Labour was.

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