Why media are so surprised by housing crisis poverty

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One of the most important parts of the Key brand is moderation. Despite being a hard right politician, pundits and media always sell Key as brilliantly moderate, and to those media and punditry, Key is moderate.

Key has kept the middle class tax breaks while passing draconian legislation aimed at the poorest amongst us. Untaxed middle class property speculation rises while State houses are being sold off. The rich have tax havens while unemployment rises to 5.7%.

It isn’t so much a difference of perspective as a difference of reality and the media have just woken up to it with a deluge of news stories focusing on what is actually happening outside the multi-million dollar studios and Ponsonby Rd cafes.

We are so manipulated into this fantasy world of Key’s that large chunks of the electorate will actually believe him when he says the homeless can just walk into a WINZ Office at get a house.

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Look at the way Key claimed people in welfare enjoyed drugs too much and that was why they were failing their kids, well look at the actual results of these tests on beneficiaries…

Few beneficiaries hit by drug testing

Few beneficiaries had benefits cut for taking drugs last year.

Beneficiaries with work obligations are now required to take and pass a drug test when asked to as part of a job application, with sanctions applied to their benefits for failing the tests.

Last year, there were 31,791 referrals for drug testable positions nationwide and just 55 sanctions for failing a drug test, according to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) figures.

…so they aren’t the drug fiends the PM has painted them as, so it’s the intergenerational poverty, loss of universal services, lack of social housing, low wages from weak unions, intergenerational health issues, lack of job training and lack of jobs that is to blame, not the poor hitting the bong.

Which brings us back to what the bloody hell is the Government actually doing – and the answer is nothing. National have no interest in solving the housing crisis because they need the speculative bubble to generate fake growth so our GDP numbers don’t dip. Escalating homelessness, poverty, inequality and over crowding is all just collateral damage to keep the speculators happy and voting National.

It’s that craven and dishonourable.

The media have sold an unquestioned spin that Key is moderate because they’ve benefited from the middle class tax breaks and aren’t impacted by the harshness of the welfare system. That illusion can no longer be allowed to stand.

 

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Key will get his $3b for tax cuts by selling $5b worth of state houses – the obscenity of what NZ has become in its grim naked truth.

32 COMMENTS

  1. On RNZ this morning Paula Benefit was interviewed by Guyon Espiner about the housing crisis. Apparently $41,000,000 is to be rolled out over 4 years ( better start wallpapering those concrete pillars under those bridges )…

    And that there is about 500 people in need of a home …. give or take. Those are only the ones registered…

    Next up was the question that Benefit describes as ‘ new ‘ beds… enough for 3000… but when Espiner inquired further it turns out they are not ‘ new’ beds being created at all – they are old ones – and the $41,000,000 is to be given to the likes of the Salvation Army ,Lifewise and City Mission…

    Which begs the question… if a dividend of $ 181000,000 is expected by the govt from Housing NZ…. why is it not being put forwards instead to new housing?

    Answer …govt is more concerned with subsidizing private land lords (through accommodation supplements ) than state owned housing.

    So…. in conclusion ? … a fast buck can then be made from selling off of state houses to private concerns – then giving a political appeasement ( $41,000,000 to various groups such as City Mission ) to shut the issue down while coming in the back door and developing ‘social housing’ – in other words – privately contracted and then privately owned.

    That way Key hopes to perpetuate his voter base ( Mum and Dad property speculators ) and leave the the overheated market as is and ignore the Reserve Banks warning about NZ being flooded with offshore funding for yet more speculation.

    And as for the Panama Papers?…lets just have a little history lesson, shall we?… as this might just go a long way to help explain why we have single mothers with small children sleeping in their cars on dark, dangerous and dimly lit streets and parks in this country …

    Have a good wee read of this then :

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand

    As IF Key didn’t know all about it.

    Or what is going on at WINZ .

    441 000,000

  2. “Which brings us back to what the bloody hell is the Government actually doing – and the answer is nothing. National have no interest in solving the housing crisis because they need the speculative bubble to generate fake growth so our GDP numbers don’t dip. Escalating homelessness, poverty, inequality and over crowding is all just collateral damage to keep the speculators happy and voting National.”

    The real reason the Nacts are destroying the Welfare State is that it is a drain on falling profits. Restructuring production to overcome the global crisis means destroying old plant and machinery (C) AND destroying workers living standards (V). Only by this means can s/c+v = profit be restored.
    We have to mobilise collectively to resist these attacks on health, housing, education etc with strikes and occupations, and at the same time support those in immediate need by sharing our resources. In that way we build a revolutionary movement to get rid of capitalism and replace it with socialism.

  3. The cliched come-back from some conservative new zealanders is “if you can’t afford’em, don’t breed’em”.

    That’s a solution?

    Oh yeah, the Final Solution. As in, class eugenics.

  4. Time for a warning.

    It needs to be said loudly and unequivocally: “if you won’t be able to handle an interest rate rise, if you will not be able to handle finding yourself underwater with your house, then the time to sell is now”. Because, one way or another, the bubble is going to burst. Either because greedy investors become nervous as the money-go-round-inflated New Zealand economy starts to teeter, or because a serious government looks like coming to power with a policy of a massive low-end building programme.

    It actually doesn’t matter if speculators try to buy in a sinking market. They will either lose their deposit or have to make the properties available at realistic rates for the many years it will take to get their investment back. (Translation they will disappear in a cloud of dust.)
    Good luck to the ones who hope to make capital gains after the two years wait period.

    It is the prospect of a crash that will provoke the slide, the price collapse will predate any new government or the building of a single house. Investors pride themselves on their foresight. They just need a credible prompt.

    “Greedy, complacent nouveaux-paper-millionaires” does not describe all householders. Those it does describe will never vote for Christmas, but no one would expect them to. There are plenty of everyday New Zealanders who will be perfectly happy to see house prices sink to a more realistic level.

    Those who fear it still have time to take action.
    If they don’t do it they will have only themselves to blame.

    Fair warning.

  5. You make some interesting points Martyn. Your assertion that John Key is far right would most probably be disputed by those who live in that space. They think he has gone far too left by straying into Labour territory to secure the middle ground, thereby pushing Labour further left. A bit like the right think the media favours the left and vice versa.
    There is no way this or any Government is going to stop the artificially inflated housing market as people feel good when they see what for most is their major asset appreciating. Any Government who did anything to reduce house prices would be booted out. This of course ensures a widening gap between the haves and the have nots.

  6. Yes Martyn you are right there, as the MSM are negligent in this issue for to long.

    MSM now need to get stuck into National on their neglect for our venerable.

    We were helping these leaders when Key was a kid and Bennett to, as we paid taxes to put them into homes with a safety net with money and food.

    How shameful of these same unfortunate now treating their todays disadvantaged as scum when we helped them up!!!

  7. These idiots produce litters of children without the means to support them or the accommodation to house them.

    The best thing the government can do is sterilize them.

    • Andrew the biggest IDIOTS here are you and your parents, because the dumb arse LITTER they had by mistake was you and then had the audacity to throw in SUPPORT and ACCOMMODATION as well.!

      Hmm… the BEST thing your FOLKS could’ve done was DROWN you at BIRTH.!

      Inside your very own STERILIZED bath water Ahahaha…..

      • I agree @ James. What an arsehole. And arseholes like @ Andrew push us around and tell us what to do and take our money then talk to us like that. What do you think we could do about that?

    • While John Key is saying his daily prayers of thanks to his God for the Christchurch earthquakes and praying that the housing problems continue and grow so he can have excuses and something to pretend to be earnest about, you could maybe join him.
      The supplicant sycophant with a plea to your God that sterility be visited upon those you or your master chooses.

    • Interesting… so you believe in population growth particularly of the working poor variety only so long as they are economic units productive in supporting the neo liberal agenda . If they need looking after as human beings to make you even richer , however… you don’t want to contribute…

      Perhaps you could become some sort of dysfunctional farmer… and if any of the cattle show any signs of weakness.. you could always just shoot them.

    • That’s okay, Andrew – Under a National MP’s salary, their kids can benefit from free accommodation and costs-of-living allowances. Just ask Bill English!

      You’re right that we’d be better off sterilising them though. Perhaps you could do us all a bloody big favour and lead the charge as an example.

    • I wish the government had sterilized your parents, Andrew. You are a thoroughly odious little man.

      • Pfft. Fuck Andrew. He’s the one that wants to create 52 million hours of tape every year so we can monitor fishing quota like he’s not a dumb ass.

        Now he wants us to think he’s still not a dumb ass for thinking he can some how control the national birth rate.

        The gods really blessed him with the dumb ass stick on the way out of his mom.

    • “Drastically cutting welfare benefits was a deliberate strategy to drive down wage costs. It was Richardson’s belief that maintaining unemployment at around 5% and keeping welfare payments low, workers would then be more likely to accept lower wages.”

      Yeah, who cares about the working poor or the unemployed, right Ruth? Scare them shitless with the fear of losing their jobs, then pay them a pittance for the privilege. And the unemployed? Worthless, bone-idle scroungers, the lot of them! We’ll just use the grubby peasants as a bogeyman to put the fear of God into the workers. “Be grateful for what scraps you have, you servile wretches, lest you end up like these damned souls!”

      There’s a special place in Hell waiting for the Douglas’ and Richardson’s of the world.

  8. But, but, but, MSD and their Principal Health Advisor say, the benefit is like a drug, so that makes those “pretty hopeless” people drug dependents, would it not?

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/BO%2012%20830am%20David%20Bratt%20Benefit%20were%20a%20Drug%20V2.pdf

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9037689/Doctors-told-to-prescribe-work-ethic

    It is all based on “research”, we are told, real “science”.

    So those living in motels paid for by WINZ, having to pay it back, they are just other “addicts”, I suppose, who got into trouble, and now need to be weaned off their “drug”, the benefit, and get into work again, so they can pay their due debts off to WINZ who gave them an advance.

    In a firmly neoliberal society and economy we now have had for decades, where many young media persons grew up knowing nothing else, live with student loans to pay back, and living in usury and exploitation, this is just all “normal”.

    No wonder they did not think much of all this, it is actually only a few media persons and reporters who still care, and who feel uncomfortable living in a society where we have all this insane stuff going on. And we can thank them for highlighting this.

    As for the rest, they may be surprised, but following Paul Henry and others, they will simply shrug it off, order their next latte and continue as if nothing much has happened.

    Key is the glamorous Mr Teflon, and he will not be harmed by this, I fear, even by this, he will soon come with new excuses, spin and blame games, it will all be others’ fault, and otherwise “an operational matter”.

    “Work will set you free”, that will be the slogan that will NEVER be given up by them, the solution to all is work, harder work, competition, privatisation, outsourcing and more of the same.

  9. Anyone who does what Key does includING himself should rot in he’ll for eternity
    The lies deceit and ineptitude of the bastard is appalling
    Why does he think that any of what he is doing is going to help the country get over his bs

  10. Say ? What’s happened to the votie-votie things? I’ve been absent for a little while and notice they are no more?

  11. Fuck Democracy. Let’s arm ourselves and butcher the fucking overlords and take the country back. This is what’s going to happen anyway, based on the extrapolation of current trends.

  12. Your on the wrong track and working for the Natz discourses again, Martyn.

    Blaming the middle class and baby boomers and pretending immigration does not exist in this country is not going to win any votes for the left come election time!

    And the Natz know it and are whipping the left into a frenzy just like last election when the herald ran so many stories about how poor white Auckland first home buyers could not buy a house and Labour and Greens rushed around saying they needed to put up retirement age and increase property taxes and crash house prices….

    I think that middle class would entertain more taxes if a politician (apart from Winston) actually wanted to address 100m rich listers and non residents and temporary residents paying their tax share and stop buying up property. If middle class locals were not expected to pay for migrants social welfare and retirements when they have never paid any taxes here but are welcomed with open arms by politicians and actually wooed around election time more than the 69% middle NZ who are told its your fault about housing, pay more…… A few years ago, middle class were blamed for not saving for their retirement, some bought houses as investments so they would not be a burden on the social welfare system, now it is their fault they did that too…

    Middle Class can do no right in this country. If you don’t save anything for retirement – it is your fault. If you do save for retirement with housing or shares – then it is your fault for being greedy.

    The election I heard was lost by only 10,000 votes and there were A LOT of problems last elections with infighting from the left to each other, so not this massive vote of middle class confident in Key what so ever, more general disgust for politicians and leading to people not voting.

    Change the record. When did Savage ever blame the middle class for the poor? It is deliberate government policy and opposition not getting elected that has caused this crisis over housing!

    P.S I don’t vote Winston Peters and am not a baby boomer, but can see why voters are gravitating towards him! Help Labour and Greens help themselves by not spreading this myth it is the middle class to blame for housing and all the ills of NZ!

    • I have wondered if there’s some “hidden policy agenda” at work with allowing foreign currency into the housing market, seeing it lift prices, and as a corrollary, those property owners heading into retirement have increased worth, therefore taking the heat off the state as far as “funding their old age” goes. Don’t know, obviously, but I have certainly wondered. Hopefully “restructuring” the pension is not part of the process. I think any government that touches the pension signs its death warrant, but National seems to get away with absolutely anything.

  13. It’s obvious that Key and his cronies have no solution to our growing housing crisis. Increasing homelessness is a natural consequence of their free market policies and no one should be surprised.

    For Key to then tell people to contact WINZ is like a certain French aristocat who told the starving peasants to eat cake. They dealt with her arrogance eventually.

    I hope to god New Zealanders do not become inured to creeping poverty, wealth inequality, and homelessness. If we do, we will have truly abandoned our once egalitarian heritage (if it ever existed at all).

  14. National always claim that the houses are not where they are needed.
    Have it ever occurred to them that these houses could be moved and relocated to where they ARE needed?
    Probably wouldn’t be possible to move them all, but at least some could be moved for a whole lot less money than demolishing the old houses and building new ones, and then the original house could serve someone else somewhere else.

  15. Re the people paying $1330 a week in emergency housing that they have to pay back – why not just pay the deposit needed to purchase a home and they can pay that back, interest free?

  16. I’m finding applying for accommodation pretty much everywhere is getting increasingly oppressive, for want of a better word. There are often many people applying for one room. The question about whether or not you’re working is always present and you know that, even if you look tidy and stress the fact that you’re actively looking for work, they’d rather have an employed person.
    The cost in Auckland for a studio or even a room in shared accommodation like a hostel or boarding house is averaging $280 – $300 on Trademe at the moment. I’ve just had an application for one room for which ten people applied turned down, and, I have to say, I’d really like to know who got it!
    I was told a few weeks ago point blank by the manager of one lodge that they didn’t accept “WINZ people”. That’s illegal discrimination as far as I’m aware.
    Boarding houses are often male dominated and as a woman of a certain age I just find that unappealing. You’d have to walk a mile to get the reasons why.
    To rent a studio for $300 a week in anticipation of finding full-time but minimum wage work would cost 65% of take home pay of roughly $460 after tax, student loan repayment and kiwisaver payments.
    Well above international reccommendations.
    Not just an Auckland problem, rent is going up in all the “main centres” and as far as I’ve seen, it’s especially punitive on single people who want, for the love of god, reasonably in my view, to live alone once well into adulthood, rather than moving into someone else’s “flat”.

  17. “It is difficult to get a man [tame right-leaning media] to understand something, when his [its] salary depends on his [it] not understanding it.”

    ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

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