The most important thing missing from Labour’s first 100 days and why you need to vote Green

By   /   September 10, 2017  /   20 Comments

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Labour have released their plan for the first 100 days. This matters because it’s the real changes any Government coming into power is allowed to pass and spend the next 3 years defending. 

Labour have released their plan for the first 100 days. This matters because it’s the real changes any Government coming into power is allowed to pass and spend the next 3 years defending.

So what will Labour push?

Ardern used her speech to outline what a Labour-led Government would do in its first 100 days.

At the top of the checklist were warmer, drier homes, support for families and students, and new inquiries into systemic and historical issues.

Foreign, non-resident homebuyers would be shut out of the housing market by Christmas through an urgent law change – a move which National says will breach New Zealand’s free trade agreements.

Another urgent law change would introduce higher minimum standards for heating and insulating rental properties.

Labour plans to scrap National’s tax cuts but says its replacement, a families package, will come into force within the 100-day period. It would extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks, provide $60 a week to families with children under 1 and give the elderly or beneficiaries $140 a week for power bills during winter.

Tertiary education would become free as of January 1, and student allowances and living costs would jump by $50.

Ardern said a Labour-led Government would get two major inquiries under way in its first 100 days – one into the mental health system, and another on the abuse of children in state care.

There were also a series of promises on environmental measures, the minimum wage, and superannuation payments.

…some pretty mild responses to the enormity of the social problems we face ($50 extra for students is a fucking joke) and some staunch moves like banning foreign buyers of our houses, but the glaring absence was a total review and reform of the toxic culture of abuse that has poisoned our neoliberal welfare state agencies.

The fear is that Labour are too beholden to the PSA to make a serious attempt at purging sadists from WINZ, MSD, Housing NZ, Corrections, Probation and Ministry of Vulnerable Children.

This is why if you actually care about the issues of poverty and inequality and the viciousness that WINZ and these social agencies hand out and you aren’t just about backing the winner, you need to Party vote Green because as good as Labour is, they aren’t going to take on the Public Service.

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20 Comments

  1. Michal says:

    Of course as Sue Bradford once said ‘if you want a centre left government then you vote ‘left’ NOT centre’

    The hook up between the unions and labour is a serious problem in my view. For years they have waited in the wing so get into parliament, one by one, little unionists.

    I am of courfse a fan of unions, but frankly their unswerveing allegiance to Labour is sickening.

  2. WILD KATIPO says:

    Well , while in some sectors Labour is a little ‘ mild’ ,… its better than a kick in the pants which is what you will get under National.

    And one good thing is under Labour, improvements can be added to. Whereas Bill English is a unrepentant neo liberal ideologue , and you will simply get more of the same as we have now.

    Which is nothing if you are not rich. Or a foreign speculator. Or a multinational corporation.

    However , – happy to vote Green because A) Yes , they do have excellent social policy’s , and B ) Because Labour is no longer under threat and its time to shore up the Green vote.

  3. […] this is the Green’s last roll of the dice for policy difference (even though their poverty issues are far greater policy differences to Labour) and it’s all pretty stock standard […]

  4. Susan St John says:

    They also need to properly fix Working for Families and stop ignoring the discriminatory and distortionary In Work Tax credit. They are keeping Nationals 25% clawback and while the threshold rises, working families will pay for higher tax credits with a faster clawback. Extending the IWTC would not produce this problem as it would ONLY to go the very poorest families-Can Labour please spend the extra $500m and get WFF right. The IWTC is totally anachronistic in the new world of 21st century work and flies inb the case of labour’s professed concern about casualisation of labour markets

  5. What you said is correct. Party vote Green if you want to keep Labour honest…For Labour has yet to say how it really reduce poverty for those on benefits or low wages…

    Feeding people has been a problem since the early Roman Empire and even before that. Every time the grain ships were delayed because of pirates and such-like or crop failure, the hungry mob in Rome threatened the wealthy dictatorship. Suddenly feeding the poor or masses became a matter of urgency even self-preservation. Then as recorded history proves repeatedly revolutions, riots, wars and general mayhem reigned until control was reestablished by the strongest. Might was right and as always the victor wrote the history and made themselves the heroes, while the starving continued to be victims.
    I today will limit my talk to those areas of actual fact, Poverty, the lack of food for the table is not new, nor is it universal, although it is growing at a rapid rate, but there is one common denominator and that is ‘money’ is the main driver for and against putting food on the tables of everyone.

    Fact: Control access to food and you control people, power and the future.

    These days there are only four ways of legally putting food on the table: Grow it, or harvest it from the wild, Buy it, or be given it. If none of those four exist you have to STEAL it.

    Fact: Greed automatically leads to poverty.

    There are people, families and whole societies and even countries today that never think about food, it simply appears whenever they require it. A cell phone is much more important to them but to others its life or death.

    Fact: Preventing poverty via food on the table [availability] has been an unachieved target goal for centuries.

    Millions of people have attempted to prevent poverty and food shortages and as yet no one has been successful on a fully national or international scale. Religious, political powers both democratic and otherwise have failed to achieve a lasting answer to the cycle of poverty, starvation, or even the distribution of food itself.

    Fact: The world’s leaders have not developed a poverty prevention plan, nor have they had the collective desire to design one.

    So long as the poor, the hungry and the needy are seen as charity recipients this will always be the case. ‘Do away with the word charity’ and create a new word that represents hope and possibilities. I don’t know what that word is but when I hear it I’ll know…as I said:

    The only legal ways of putting food on the table is to grow it or harvest it, buy it or be given it.

    It appears that the neoliberal left-overs in the labour party will not disipline the few PSA members left in the public service and direct their actual performance…I think they still believe in their failed ‘Partnership deal’ the PSA signed up to under Roger Douglas.

  6. LOSTRELIC says:

    Seems a bit Third Way-ish to me. As I see it, the public have to get together, get organised, and primarily change the narrative – away from predation. As the public view changes, the politicians will be forced to come to the party. I don’t think it’s even necessarily about making better demands of politicians, but just deepening the understanding and changing the public perception of the roles state institutions play, their relationship with them and so on, coming together to practice being together as communities, listening supportively and so on – reclaiming our power from “those at the top”. We have created a society where egotism and self-centredness thrives – that’s the issue that we unfortunately must confront – and that can’t be done via meagre policy progression, however alleviating those measures may be for those on the margins, ultimately they won’t go very far.

  7. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    I’d have believed the Green’s pro social services reform policy if they had stood behind Metiria. Her forced resignation speaks volumes (and is why they plummeted in the polls to near irrelevancy). It’s a party with no backbone whatsoever.

  8. Door knocking in Alicetown (Lower Hutt) today highlighted one concern some potential Green Party supporters had; namely that at 5 or 6% in the polls, if the Greens fall below the 5% threshold on Election night, their votes will be “wasted”.

    I doubt this.

    Last time in 2014, the Greens gained an extra MP after thousands of expat voters in UK, Australia, etc, cast their votes for the Greens.

    But now the special votes have been counted, it’s lost that claim to fame and now has 60 MPs, down one from election night.

    The Greens gain an extra MP, taking them to 14 seats. That means Steffan Browning will return to Parliament.

    ref: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/final-election-result-affects-nats-greens-labour-s-race-6098176

    Expat voters do not register on local polling. Therefore, Green support will be much higher on Election Night than polling would have us believe.

    • Louis says:

      “Green support will be much higher on Election Night than polling would have us believe.” I absolutely believe that 100% The Greens have a solid base, people need to have more faith.

  9. HC says:

    Having watched the brief discussion between Anne Tolley and Carmel Sepuloni on the Nation this morning, I think that those on welfare support will not have much reason to be hopeful for improvements.

    And re the above, ok, the Greens will need many party vote them, simply to ensure they get above the five percent threshold now. All I have recently heard from them is much about climate change, water improvement and other environmental policy. James Shaw is rather quiet when it comes to social issues.

    Maybe also prepare for unexpected surprises that may blow away that stardust charm that has Labour above 40 percent now. I would be hoping that there will be a change on 23 September, but it is far too close to call.

    • Louis says:

      I think you are in for surprise, and you must of missed this, but Labour are going to overhaul winz.

      • HC says:

        You mean this, right?

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/06/46460/labour-would-restructure-work-and-income

        “Robertson was less clear than Mathers in his initial answer on whether Labour would increase the rate of supported living payments, but when pressed for a ‘yes or no’ answer by moderator Susie Ferguson, said: “Yes.”‘

        Having read that, only the Greens seem to make clear commitments in social support policy, Grant Robertson has to be pushed for an answer.

        And an ‘increase’ is anything like at least a dollar a week more, right? At least the Greens offer real increases, 20 percent of core benefit, but one has to be mindful, how an abatement regime would look like.

        That tells me, those on benefits, and caring for them, they must party vote Greens, to ensure they get in, and are the likely partner for a progressive government.

        • Louis says:

          Cherry picking? The intend is there to make much needed change and Labour and Greens will make those changes together.

          • Shona says:

            Ah Louis the Labour Party troll! Labour are third way Blairite, neo- liberal scum . They will stay in the TPPA they haven’t the brains or the balls to repeal the Resrrve Bank Act, the theft of state assets or repeal the reform of the electricity market. They are a Clayton’s Labour Party. ( the Labour Party you have when you don’t have a Labour party)Inequality will continue apace and homelessness will become a normal part of the NZ lifestyle. Poverty will be entrenched under a Labour lead government UNLESS they are pulled left by the Greens on social policy and left on the economy by NZ First. !6.95 an hour is not a living wage ! I have no faith in shallow PR Communication people and their empty rhetoric however heartfelt it may appear in performance.

  10. What do you mean when you say this matters because this is what any government is allowed to pass? There is no free pass for an incoming government. They still have to go through legislative processes. 100 days takes us from the end of September to the end of December and into the summer holidays. Count up the sitting days ; there aint many, once you include the State Opening, Queens Speech, debate on this, formation of a coalition, setting up the Cabinet etc. The 100 day plan is just that ; its not the whole plan. Getting those changes in tertiary education by 1 January will be a huge stretch. There’s lots of things Labour need to do, but give them a break. Party voting Green won’t change any of these priorities except the Greens own carbon neutral priority they have outlined, which could be a condition of post election negotiations.

  11. Quicksilver says:

    Labour is far from home and hosed. If National is in the strongest position on Election night, then a coalition with NZF & others looms.
    Awaiting polling data to see if Natz downward trend confirmed.
    Greens will be there – Shaw has been most impressive after the Dirty Politics-MSM styled attacks they’ve endured. The urgency of climate change action is getting some ammunition now that rich white Americans are being affected.

    • Louis says:

      National did a hit job on Winston that left him still standing, what makes anyone think Winston would entertain National in any degree after that?

  12. Afewknowthetruth says:

    ‘as good as Labour is, they aren’t going to take on the Public Service’

    Spot on. I have known it all along.

    Labour (as currently constituted0 is a business-as-usual party which will probably allow a few more breadcrumbs to fall off the ‘elites’ table and into the mouths of the masses but will never address anything that is fundamentally wrong with NZ. Not that the ‘Greens’ would.

    The march towards energy collapse and environmental collapse continues, and it will continue, even as the consequences of energy depletion and environmental degradation become increasingly dire -Hurricane Irma being a vivid example of what an overheated Earth causes.

    New government: more of the same.

  13. Danyl Strype says:

    I don’t think the MSD workforce or the PSA are the problem. There are a few bad apples at WINZ who are prejudiced against beneficiaries, but these people could be moved to non-frontline roles without this being a problem for the PSA. Most of the people I’ve dealt with at WINZ are as stuck in the system as I am (both office policy and the computer systems). I expect they would do a great job if they had management that rewarded them for the right things; onboarding those that start needing benefits efficiently, and making sure they get everything they need and are entitled to.

    I think the PSA could be convinced that there are better ways to spend public funds keeping WINZ frontline staff safe than paying their salaries to private security companies. For example, employing more frontline staff at WINZ, so that case managers aren’t struggling with as many as 200 cases at a time and can give people wrap-around, one-on-one assistance. Also, paying for professional development for MSD staff (eg mediation, de-escalation, and self defence training).

    The problem here is not the PSA. It’s that Labour is afraid of falling in the same bene-bashing hole that Metiria fell into. That said, Jacinda pulled Bill up about “the working poor” very emphatically during the last leaders debate, which is everyone on a benefit (or without income at all) when you count unpaid work. Being on a benefit was a much less punishing experience under Clark’s government (for all its flaws), and I’m confident a Labour-Greens governed NZ 2017-20 would be a less bad place to be for my fellow beneficiaries than any of the other likely scenarios.