$20 minimum wage, renter rights, free education, free public transport & feed every child – the 5 point new Aotearoa social contract

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There is a property speculating middle class who love life under Key. His economic policy based upon a failing dairy intensification industry and rebuilding from a natural disaster is kept afloat by an open door immigration policy and capital gains free environment that forces housing affordability through the roof.

The privilege being enjoyed by some is not a bounty that is being shared by everyone.

The Left have to focus on how those most impacted by inequality can share in societies harvest. They are the poor, the disenfranchised and the mission million who don’t believe anything can be done in Wellington that will make their lives meaningful in any way.

5 simple policies could transform life for those on the bottom.

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The new Aotearoa social contract

$20 minimum wage – The living wage is $19.80 – let’s push for $20. The arguments for increasing it outweigh the negative. People spend that money directly into their neighbourhoods, small business will benefit from more local spending – large corporations will get grumpy. But screw them.

Renter rights & truly affordable houses – Meet your new landlord! The housing affordability crisis must be solved with a land tax, capital gains tax, restricting foreign ownership, immigration restrictions and a massive state housing programme. We also need renter rights. We require new law cementing in long term tenancies with rent controls and the promotion of ‘ethical landlords’, people who refuse to squeeze every last drop of money out of their tenants for needless greed.


Free education – Education is the way we progress society and improve our civilisation. Education allows us as human beings real agency and autonomy while building a better nation. All education needs to be free and seen as a right rather than a personal means to get a job and earn money. We need to revalue teachers, schools, universities and students. Making education free is essential if we want our society to become egalitarian.

Free public transport – We can afford to give old people free transport, what about the poorest and children? Transport is a huge hole in the pocket for students, beneficiaries and the low paid, making public transport free would not only be good for the environment, it would empower the poor.

Feed every child – Hungry children don’t learn. The decision to cut off parents from welfare hurts kids in poverty, it doesn’t solve laziness. Blaming the parents is bullshit. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man a self help meme and keep the middle classes feeling smug for life.

The promise of democracy is you can look into the face of your child and know they will get a better deal at life than you did, NZ is currently failing that promise. We need a new deal but our Political Parties seem missing in action.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Those may be worthy ideals but they do not correspond with the reality of world we now live in.

    Economic contraction is underway throughout much of the world, and it is only fudging of figures, manipulation of interest rates and money-printing that are holding the system together. We have been in the ‘End Game’ stage since 2008, and will soon (1 to 4 years) be facing global economic collapse.

    Numerous nations are already falling off the cliff, and there is no remedy within the dominant paradigm. And almost no one is prepared to abandon the dominant dysfunctional paradigm. In fact, most people continue to defend the system that is killing them and their progeny, even as everything turns to ‘custard’:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-03/brazil-dire-straits-pmi-crashes-record-lows

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-01/looney-plunges-canadian-gdp-collapses-most-2009

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-01/venezuela-increasingly-looks-war-zone

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-29/complete-collapse-greece-reverts-barter-economy-first-time-nazi-occupation

    In the meantime, global environmental collapse is accelerating as CO2 emissions from industrial activity push the atmospheric level to new highs every year:

    “Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended.”

    And the rate of ruining the atmosphere is increasing:

    https://www.co2.earth/co2-acceleration

    ‘The promise of democracy is you can look into the face of your child and know they will get a better deal at life than you did.’

    Actually, we don’t live in a democracy: we live in an oligarchy, with a façade of democracy to keep the ‘serfs’ deluded and compliant. And current adults have been sacrificing their children’s lives on the altar of outlandish consumption for a long time; at this point, anyone under the age of 40 is unlikely to live out their natural term of ‘three score and ten’ because the Earth is being overheated and generally wrecked at such a phenomenal pace (and accelerating) it will almost certainly be largely uninhabitable within 30 years.

    We will know just how dire the predicament is around August of this year.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  2. You should throw in cup cake crapping, flying Unicorns in your wish list Martyn.
    There simply isn’t enough atmosphere/water/top soil/energy, to give everyone a ‘living’ wage.
    At some point people are going to have to accept that “That was as good as it gets”

    • Then you must be fully in favour of clawback of high wages then? After all, a company/corporation/organisation’s wage bill cost is taken as a whole and as you say there simply isn’t enough so really there isn’t enough to support these extraordinary levels of individual greed if it is at the expense of other people living conditions.

      • Just ask Robert the twin towers attacks if he has heard of double entry accounting to gauge whether he understands what he is talking about.

        A yes would mean he understands how governments create money and he’s just lying.

        A no would indicate he has no idea how governments create money and that he is wrong

    • Of course there are enough resources…we just haven’t figured out a more efficient, less environmentally damaging way of utilising them yet. The Model T made the car affordable to most families, the electric lightbulb made manufacturing more efficient and gave us improved quality of life. What’s the next big thing? The Kardashians?

      This blog site sees ‘justice’ in promoting big government sanctioned theft through wealth redistribution, all I see is a bunch of people trying to claim a share of the risk and manual labour of others, as of right.

      Quality of life and respect are earned, not compulsorily acquired, unless your name is Donald Trump, in which case it is inherited and added to, lost, added to, lost then added to again.

  3. As part of housing rights, we need to add the creation of an “Auckland Housing Authority” to ensure equitable, quality housing for all.

    The Auckland Housing Authority has the collects land taxes leveled on all property, over sees tenancy lawas and conducts WOF inspections, restricts speculation and operates a Land Trust like that buys residential properties and leases the land back to first home buyers.

    Capitalism will never deliver equitable quality housing. We seem to have no trouble accepting the need for a central body to deliver public transport. We need to accept the same is also necessary with respect to housing.

  4. ” My temple should be… a house of prayer… but you have made it… a den of thieves…”

    A part of the scene from JC Superstar all those years ago… demonstrating the corporately endorsed greed of the powers that be over the common folk…and yes, not much has changed since then … and all the above points in Martyn’s post are needed in any civilized advanced society.

    We do NOT just simply exist to be menial workhorses and then to be cremated like cattle when we die. Human beings are creative intelligent beings… with a far higher calling and we are capable of much more than this current negligent crop of thieves and money lenders in govt would ever have us believe.

    It is time we are no longer their tools.

    It is time to clear the area and take back our social democracy.

  5. Most of all, those who can vote have got to vote these crooks out. The non voters have the power to do so!

  6. Until the state takes over the banking system, there will be a flow of arguments that we can’t afford many simple things as outlined in the article.

    In truth we are deluded in thinking we can “afford” the layer of elite wealth gatherers that have manipulated control of our assets and resources to en-richen them selves at the cost to community, environment and dwindling Non renewable Natural Resource.

    To hold these parasites in position of “respect” is perverse to the extreme.

  7. Please let some serious left wing party (not Mana) adopt that. The left will be out of power for the foreseeable future if they do.

  8. I agree with most of this but slightly differ in property. Property is significant for Kiwis as most people have all their savings, retirement and so forth in this area and we do not seem to have a particularly well functioning share market or way to make pensions work. Ie Kiwisaver, the National government could not help tinker with it! Personally that makes me nervous, I’ve got a long way to retirement and I’m pretty concerned that if I trust the government for the next 20 years or so I might be left with nothing. Also Maori own land and so they are in the same boat. NZ also has significant farming interests and at present most farms are losing money. We already have a land tax called rates and another one collected by the government as a land tax would cripple many homeowners and farms and Maori trusts.

    I have no problem collecting taxes on property but I would prefer a fail proof method so that rich people can’t evade it. Quite frankly capital gains taxes are as likely to be paid by the super rich as the top tax rate (less than 50%). Capital gains taxes do NOT make property more affordable and in countries that have it, affordability has not occurred.

    I would like to see very small incremental ways to collect taxes that nobody can evade. Such as a stamp duty on property (free for first home owners who have been resident for 7 years). Most people pay 2 – 4% to real estate agents without quibbling. I would advocate a stamp duty set so low that most people do not worry about it like 0.05 percent and collected at the point of sale when the title transfers so zero evasion. That would IMMEDIATELY start raising taxes for social good such as free public transport for kids etc.

    F-off Social bonds, lets raise some money to spend on helping everyone have a better society, run by the government like in the old days not corporate social bonds run by Serco and Banks!

    I would also like to see feasibility on a transaction tax, taken for each electronic transaction. So that incrementally the government takes a tiny fraction of each transaction. Those buying a lot, consumers will pay more, those who can”t afford anything (the poor) will pay less. (Food, rent, mortgages etc exempt). This would encourage sustainability among other things.

    I would also be interested in exploring the Universal Basic Income for all Kiwis citizens. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2015/12/08/finland-is-scrapping-welfare-benefits-for-universal-basic-income-n2090858

    Politicians have a lot of ideas on how to spend money but less ideas on how to raise it.

    I would particularly like the Greens to look at this, in particular looking at changing capital gains policy to stamp duty which is very difficult to evade and raises immediate property taxes that can be utilised elsewhere.
    If they also had a transaction tax then they maybe would have a lot more money to spend.

    Because wages are below the cost of living for many people and most people live with massive debt, there needs to be small ways to collect micro taxes in my view – the idea of less money each week for most via PAYE or other taxes is not a vote winner for most people.

    Visa recently started making consumers pay to use credit cards and not sure there was much back lash, and that is quite a high percent taken like 2%. Before then, the merchant used to pay it.

    The other idea to explore is something they did in the UK called ISA’s. It mean each year people could save a certain amount tax free. Rather than being put into a pension, the person could control it and spend it at any time. However people didn’t because then you lost the tax benefit.

    I would like to see a simplification of the tax system. These days there are so many tax credits and benfits and so forth – in my view the most needy can’t even access what they are due.

    • Savenz. Your post seems to be nothing more than a long winded way of saying you want to take more money off the people who earned it without them noticing, because you think that you and yours deserve it more than the people who earned it. Good luck with that.

      • Not at all. If you read it, you will see that I propose a way to make sure we actually receive property taxes!! the problem with taxes is that currently it seems there are so many loop holes individuals and companies earning over 100 million don’t even pay the top tax rate.

        My points involve ways to stop tax avoidance. If we got more tax we could have living wages, free public transport etc!

        The whole point of taxation is that everyone is supposed to pay their fair share.

        At present that is not happening with the super rich and billion dollar companies.

        Under globalism that is getting worse. Under TPP is will be a disaster.

        http://corporateeurope.org/international-trade/2016/02/zombie-isds

        http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/15/european-groups-expose-terrifying-extent-corporate-grab-within-ttip

        http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/resources/taxes-on-trial-how-trade-deals-threaten-tax-justice-global-justice-now.pdf

      • I guess the crux of what you are suggesting hinges around how you describe the term “earn”.

        This term is used a lot to attempting to justify many forms of collecting wealth without providing labour which is the basis of all wealth.

        Gathering, collecting, stealing, investing, displacing, claiming, inheriting, issuing new money by position of power and control: are not the same as earning.

        • Many people don’t ‘earn’ money anymore in traditional ways. Many jobs are not under employment contracts and employment contracts themselves with zero hour contracts etc are not even considered a job in my book.

          For whatever reason, (I think neoliberalism), people are forced into making money in different ways or subsidising their traditional wages in different ways.

          That is just how modern society are panning out. Most people I know post Rogernomics are on short term contracts or self employed. They have no secure job and have to innovate however they can to fill gaps in employment. In addition people now often are carrying huge debts from student loans, mortgages (if they got that far) or even hire purchases etc. The poor are being lured with finance companies and so forth, often unregulated into debt.

          Taxation has not moved with the times.

          In my view Labour lost the election for many reasons but also by not understanding what people are having to do now to get by, the amount of debt most people may be living with and ignoring other issues effecting Kiwis like migration and globalism and privitisation.

          Middle class is often considered a dirty word on this site, but if the middle class and poor fight and reach no common ground then it is a distraction from the real issues and will lose another election and allow the far right agenda to continue.

    • I think transaction tax would impact pretty much the same as GST, that would mean low income people paying a much higher proportion their income than high income people.

      Adjusting progressive tax rates is the fairest and simplest way.

      The cost that has dramatically increased for everyone is housing, and Martyn’s suggestions are exactly what needs to be done. I would add a property tax to address the problem of land banking. Ownership of a finite and essential resource should be treated as the immense privilege it is.

      I expect those changes would cause an upheaval as huge as Rogernomics. I doubt there will be a soft way to achieve them without prolonging suffering and injustice for low income people.

      • @Waz – my point is that “Adjusting progressive tax rates is the fairest and simplest way.’ is not working when many rich listers earning over 100m do not pay the top tax rate, but a doctor on $200k does and has to pay student loans, etc etc. Companies on billion dollar turnovers don’t pay tax at all or get credits!!

        Generations of Kiwis now, don’t even really have real jobs. We now live in a world of zero job security. Most people are just a few paycheques away from bankruptcy. (and this is not just people on low wages). We see what that happened in the US when people formally wealthy lost their job, their savings, their home and really their life as they knew it after the financial crash. Did those people or companies that cause the problem suffer – nope they were bailed out with taxpayers cash.

        GST has worked poorly against the poor I agree, but I just think taxation needs to be looked at specifically on how to target the growing rich listers and billion dollar companies. This is clearly an international problem.

        TPPA for me is a lost agreement that should be looking at how governments get their fair of local taxes NOT giving more public money away in corporate welfare.

        I’m not after a witch hunt on taxation, just some way to gather a fair share of revenue from the growing uber wealthy and corporations and global citizens.

        There just needs to be more radical ideas about how governments are going to function and collect taxes in the 21st century with zero job security of people and issues of globalism, climate change and overpopulation.

        At present those companies who have contributed the most to climate change and pollution and health problems are gaming the odds to keep the status quo, stop change (unless they control it) and create more wealth and power to themselves with guaranteed corporate welfare, their own courts (under trade agreements) as well as stop discussions and research on the problem and real solutions being made.

  9. “We require new law cementing in long term tenancies with rent controls and the promotion of ‘ethical landlords’, people who refuse to squeeze every last drop of money out of their tenants for needless greed.”

    To match one for tenants.

    I am not a landlord.

    I have helped to clean up after a dodgy tenant moved on.

    “Normal” people do not punch holes in walls, rip doors from hinges, allow stinking rubbish to fill the house, and wreck the fridge and stove.

    Yes – they probably need a roof over their heads. But decent accommodation is wasted on them. Seriously. And this is not a ‘new’ problem. It’s not ascribable to ‘poverty’ – except poverty of spirit and manners and decency. The most surprising people can be housing hoons.

    So – let’s make that a two-way agreement, and let the serial rent dodgers/flat wreckers live in the sort of housing that suits their scruffy ways, until it suits them to live more harmoniously.

    And bring on long-term, affordable tenancies: we’re long overdue.

    PS – And yes, if the tenant’s circumstances stay the same, a state house can be ‘for life’, of course.

  10. Wow. A post on a political blog actually discussing *policy* instead of gossip and scuttlebutt! Whatever next? Comments in which people actually take a serious position for or against specific policy goals (ends) and policy frameworks (means), and offer logical arguments and evidence to back up their position, instead of just calling each other names and making wild allegations? Imagine it! Let’s make it happen 😉

    One of the most important things we can do towards this quality of discussion is to ignore trolling (1-3 sentence posts that reiterate NatACT key messages) and flamebait (posts attempting to turn productive discussions into dick-waving shit fights). Just don’t dignify it with a response, unless you are willing to carefully edit your response so that it raises the quality of the discussion, rather than lowering it.

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