More Grudget than Budget


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After blowing the dog whistles of parents being responsible for feeding hungry children for election purposes, the Government have conceded that 250 000 children in poverty is a tad embarrassing and they’ve done the barest minimum by lifting core benefits the first time since 1991.


Most NZers have no idea how those benefits were set in 1991. In 1991, the benefit was set just below what they calculated the average adult required nutritionally. That’s right dear reader, the benefits were purposely set just below the minium so that beneficiaries hunger would incentivise them to not be on the dole. When you hear people claim anyone can afford to feed themselves on the benefit, they clearly have no idea how the benefit was calculated in 1991.

That proud moment in our history is never mentioned these days.

So the Government have campaigned to the prejudice and bigotry of their voters but have finally agreed that benefits have to rise, and they’ve done it with the same begrudging minimalism as their capital gains tax that isn’t a capital gains tax.

Of course with any hand up from National, there also comes the closed fist. More work testing will be used to disqualify beneficiaries from the benefit in the first place and that disqualification is likely to be realised for the Government by contracting that disqualification process out to private companies.

20 million extra for the GCSB and spying services??? That’s creepy and worrying. Why do they need all that extra money if they aren’t doing mass surveillance?

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This is a Grudget not a Budget, and it’s testimony to how the supposed rock star economy has left many without tickets.



  1. Really though, if you are not feeding your kids and you are on the benefit, it is your fault, you are either not budgeting properly or spending the money on something less important.

    • Poor effort. Most commenters on here will consider your contribution to be Basic Rhetoric 101. Must try harder.

    • Easily done oh sheltered person who is insulated from actually living on a breadline.

      Living on such a tight budget all it takes is a few bills to put you underwater (letting fees, moving costs due to abusive partners, additional medical fees, unexpected school costs etc).

  2. 20 million extra for the GCSB and spying services??? That’s creepy and worrying. Why do they need all that extra money if they aren’t doing mass surveillance?

    Two words – Dirty Politics

    I think the opposition parties and NZ citizens need to be VERY afraid.

    The far right are not winning by accident.

    Wake up Greens and Labour and NZ First, National has a helping hand eavesdropping on emails, phone calls and more, even when caught out, the SIS and GCSB get away with it.

    Not only that the Nats have the help of corporate owned media to keep the propaganda flowing. RIP John Campbell. If the most popular man in TV is forced out, what hope do others have?

    Opposition parties forget about the small stuff and start collaborating and fighting for your own survival and reputation which can be smeared in the ugly campaigns we have seen in NZ politics in the last few years and getting much worse and more effective.

  3. They need that $ 20 ,000,000.00 extra to hire more staff to spy on all the beneficiaries that actually ate an egg tonight with their usual once daily , seven times a week bowl of rice meal….the Govt wants the GSCB to find out how they afforded that egg.

    And also which were the friends of those beneficiaries that loaned them the money to buy that bag of rice.

    Particularly when there’s ample grass out the back of their sections and worms in the dirt they could have eaten instead.

    I tell you folks,….the day is not long off…when those blunt pitchforks youv’e got out in the toolshed covered in rust need to be sharpened and oiled…there’s work to be done.

      • Hehehe…meant it as a tongue in cheek slagging off of the miserly amount on offer …also the total incompetence and dishonesty of this govt to actually give a damn.

        Sorry if some took it the wrong way.

        Id have Key done for treason if I had my way….as would thousands of others.

        Its quite a popular sentiment , so I hear these days.

  4. That’s because our “rock star economy” is of the Keith Richards variety — a dilapidated ruin propped up by formaldehyde and bullshit.

  5. Your right about the amount being small Martyn, the $25 raise considering what inflation has done to $20,(which was the 1991 benefit cut),since those 1991 benefit cuts,

    IF, and this is a big IF, the empowering legislation to raise those benefit levels,and, the amount of working for Families tax credits for the lowest paid workers with families makes amendments which allow ALL those effected to keep ALL of their current entitlements along with the the raises in both benefit levels and working for Families then i personally see a small but not insignificant gain for kids in the worst economic position,

    Having said that, i still have the sneaking suspicion that when the cold light of day is shone on ‘the numbers’ it will be glaringly obvious that the provision of breakfast and lunch in schools for 1-3 decile kids would have provided a far bigger benefit to a far greater number of kids for quite a significantly less amount of money than the 700+ million dollar cost,(IF there are no claw-backs), of what National accomplished today,

    The Parliament is in for a long weekend as the Legislation is likely to be given ‘urgency’ and it would be nice to see ALL the opposition parties dig their toes in with multiple amendments to ensure that the raise in benefit level for benefit dependent children and the subsequent raise in Working for Families for the lowest paid workers is paid in full without the loss of any entitlements these kids rely upon,

    My message to that ‘opposition’ who were obviously as gobsmacked by this budget as i was, ”get over it and fast”, do your jobs and ensure there is no clawback of existing entitlements,

    (PS, Andrew, can you not leave it the f**k alone, Superannuation that is, Labour campaigned in 2 elections on doing us out of some of it, lost twice while NZFirst gained big time,if you want to ensure you also become an ex-Leader of Labour after the 2017 contest then you will carry on with such Neo-Liberalism)….

    • Yes, Andrew Little had another brain fart with the consideration to means test super. The older folk will pay taxes, and if they are earning that much extra on top of their pensions, just tax them, and no more, thanks.

      Labour need to wake up, and get real, as what they come up with is totally unconstructive, what about some real smart ideas, like introducing a UBI, perhaps?

      • Mike in Auckland, yeah i went through this debate with who i assume is the ‘right wing’ of Labour over at the Standard ad nauseum,

        Superannuation is affordable, Labour and ACT trot out the scare tactic figures of shock horror the number of Pensioners will double in 30 years,(the same tactic was used as justification for the previous raise in the age of entitlement),

        While true, the number will double in 30 years, what those proposing the raising of the age of entitlement do not, with deliberation i believe, look at the other side of the equation, GDP,

        While the number of Superannuants will double in 30 years the projected GDP of the country will also double which means the Governments share of this GDP will double through taxation,

        This also occurred amidst the previous raise in the age of entitlement, and, in fact, pick any 30 year period where the financial records of the country can be found and i bet you GDP will have doubled,

        The last bastion of retreat for those i have debated this issue for far to long with surrounds the number of workers in the economy during the next 30 years, this i would suggest in light of the current immigration figures is a void point in the debate,

        It does not matter how many financial crisis, share market crashes, oil price shocks have befallen the New Zealand economy during any period the FACT is that GDP has doubled over any 30 year period you choose to research therefor Labour and ACT are Bullshitting us,

        Next, go through the record and look at How Many and The Cost Of all the many tax cutting rounds occurred After the last raising of the age of entitlement, add into that the Working for Families tax credits and you then realize why these people, for want of a better descriptive, want to do us out of a large part of our retirement…

  6. I’m sure there’s a typo in your heading.
    Should it read “more Fudgeit then Budget.”?

    The only rock stars this “economy” is similar to would be Bon Scott, Michael Hutchins and Brian Jones.

  7. The budget announcement that sole parent beneficiaries get another 25 dollars a week for looking after their kids is nothing but a smart con job. There will be more parents on benefits expected to look for part time work, now at least 20 hours a week, once the youngest child is only 3 years old. They will then have to pay for childcare, probably have little remaining entitlements to a benefit, and also does the increase of the main base benefit by the 25 dollars lead to claw backs as a consequence of the abatement regime, resulting in less accommodation supplement and less temporary additional support for many.

    With increased work expectations, even for sick and disabled, more are daily forced off benefits, so all this talk about helping people on benefits is just endless BS, nothing more or less. All on the jobseeker benefit now have to work at least 20 hours part time, that is another increased work expectation, resulting in less benefit entitlements and more sole parents, sick and disabled having to work, even though the latter may have impairments of physical or mental functioning.

    In the end few will be better off, and nothing much will change, given present government policy and the benefit law and rules.

  8. To put it in perspective;

    The $25 per week increase doesn’t start until 01 April NEXT year.

    After waiting since 1991 I guess another year will just fly by while they are waiting in poverty.

  9. Interestingly a parent working 20 hours per week regularly will not be on ‘the benefit’ but will instead be eligible to receive the working for families top up.

    As all sole parents are now expected to be working 20 hours once their youngest child is 3 this should ( if such 20 hour permanent jobs during childcare hours are actually available) see a drop in numbers on the benefit
    So a win – win for Paula and John maybe but not so much for 3 to 5 year olds to be bundled into compulsory day-care.

    • Yeah it was called the GMFI when I was on it when my son was 3 – 5yrs old nearly 25yrs ago now. It was 20 hours then but have they increased to it to 30 hours now?

  10. There is a lot of voting down going on… For those trolls, the budget helps no one, except those in corporate boxes.
    This National Government continues to ruin our beloved country, at a great rate of knots – you know it’s true. Deal with it.

  11. …the dog whistles of parents being responsible for feeding hungry children…

    Last time I looked, parents are responsible for feeding their children. It’s not a “dog whistle.” Or are you privy to some info denied the rest of us?

    In 1991, the benefit was set just below what they calculated the average adult required nutritionally.

    [citation needed]

    Of course with any hand up from National, there also comes the closed fist. More work testing will be used to disqualify beneficiaries from the benefit in the first place…

    It’s true that having a job disqualifies me from receiving a social welfare benefit, but it’s not obvious how this constitutes the government beating me with a fist. Could you explain?

  12. Sorry…perhaps I’m missing something. Are they targeting all beneficiaries receiving core benefits or just those with children?

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