Why Are The Most Desperate Ignored In The Budget?

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Unite Union wants to know why the most desperate sectors in New Zealand have been ignored in the budget, and wants a new package of support released soon
With unemployment set to explode as the government wage subsidy comes to an end, many workers who have never had to rely on a benefit are soon going to have to come to terms with a system that drives people deeper into poverty and debt.

A number of employers Unite deals with are already beginning redundancy processes with jobs set to be terminated as soon as the subsidy runs out. We are aware that other unions are reporting the same scenario.

Over the last ten years, the number of people applying for emergency benefits and accessing emergency food agencies have been exploding.

This reflects the very low level of benefits in New Zealand and the fact that the agency responsible for delivering support has been governed by a culture of denial of entitlements.

This culture was imposed on WINZ in the mid 2000s and led to a halving in the percentage of unemployed people accessing benefits, many choosing to try and survive with no income at all, rather than face ritual humiliation, belittling and bullying from caseworkers.

The Household Labour Force Survey measures the number of people officially unemployed, as well as a broader number of people who are “jobless”.

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Between 1990 and 2003 the number of people on benefits never dropped below 64% of the jobless number. Over the next decade, it dropped to only 18% of the “jobless” number. It went from 120% of the unemployed number to only 45% in 2013.

No explanation has ever been provided as to how this was achieved without denying people their legal entitlement.

These numbers are behind the hunger and homelessness associated with joblessness over the last seven years when unemployment was officially relatively low. But if you were unemployed and couldn’t access any form of entitlement then misery was the inevitable result.

The new mass unemployment that will be being unleashed over the next six months demands a complete culture change.

But the exposure that WINZ is still unlawfully telling people who have received redundancy payments that they must exhaust all their savings before accessing welfare is proof that this culture has not changed at all. Heads should roll at the top if needed to ensure this change.

Five urgent steps are needed:

  1. A doubling of the value of the unemployment benefit over the next six months at least. This was done in Australia by a right-wing government and should be copied here. The current benefit is worth only 20% of the average wage compared to 40% before the 1990 benefit cuts. Even after those cuts, the adult unemployment benefit was worth 33% of the average wage. It has been allowed to steadily decline in value because it was only ever increased by the consumer price index rather than average wages like superannuation has been.
  2. Extending benefits to migrant workers who have been brought to New Zealand with the promise of work and education opportunities and now have lost their jobs. The government is currently forcing thousands of migrant workers to starve. This is morally repugnant and it is no exaggeration to say it will lead to unnecessary deaths.
  3. The income people should be able to earn before benefits are cut should be radically increased to at least levels recommended by the Welfare Experts Advisory Group. If the government is serious about trying to protect workers from redundancies and help unemployed people back into work, workers need to be able to work part-time and receive enough support to make that affordable.
  4. All benefit entitlements should be individualised so workers can access benefits even if the partner is working. The current system doesn’t reflect 21st-century families. It actually destroys families rather than protects them.
  5. The $75 weekly in-work tax credit for a child should be extended to all families. This will ensure families accessing a benefit during this crisis period aren’t doubly penalised by having their payment taken off them. It will also ensure a real increase for current beneficiary households denied this entitlement.

Governments, both Labour-led and National-led have ignored the welfare of people on benefits for years. They have treated them as second-class citizens, better kept out of sight and out of mind. The government is about to find out that this will no longer be possible.

37 COMMENTS

  1. The best way to increase wages is for the migrant workers that have been imported by employers to drive down costs is to return to their countries of origin – this will have a twofold affect by increasing employment opportunities for New Zealanders and allow wages to rise – my brother in-law works for a company that sub-contracts to Chorus – his original company lost out on a contract because their tender was too high – in order to get a job doing exactly the same thing he had to accept a $20,000 pay cut – NZ trained and 40 years experience – all due to Chorus setting up a company called Vision Stream who use new migrant sub contractors who then employ largely untrained migrant labour on “codes” – piecework – this has been all over the news on a number of occasions but the rort is still going on – the union that he belongs too has done nothing to stop this – the work visa rorts need to be stopped so Kiwis can get better wages and will free up much needed affordable housing – the companies who employ these migrants on work visa’s need to be held accountable for their repatriation not the people of New Zealand – fewer people on benefits and higher wages for Kiwis means there will be more money available to help the truly needy.

  2. Well said, Mike.

    ‘This culture [of attempting to deny people of their entitlements] was imposed on WINZ in the mid 2000s’

    You could have added ‘by the Helen Clark so-called Labour government’.

    ‘The new mass unemployment that will be being unleashed over the next six months demands a complete culture change.’

    I absolutely agree with you.

    However, it should be noted that the Adern government has the same fundamental philosophy as the Clark government.

    ‘The aim of Closing the Gaps was to reduce the most visible disparities in socio-economic status and opportunity between Māori and Pacific Islander groups and other groups. The policy had a social development and social inclusion approach to social policy. Closing the Gaps aimed to balance individual and collective rights and responsibilities by integrating Māori and Pacific Islanders more extensively into the paid labour market.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closing_the_Gaps

    That is worth repeating: ‘more extensively into the paid labour market’.

    You wrote: ‘Governments, both Labour-led and National-led have ignored the welfare of people on benefits for years. They have treated them as second-class citizens, better kept out of sight and out of mind.’

    Well, actually the Adern government didn’t entirely ignore the welfare of people. They made a slight increase in the accessibility of ‘ambulances at the bottom of the cliff’ via a reduction in the fees to see a doctors.

    The shocking state of the nation’s teeth and the extraordinarily high cost of dental care are another matter -put into the ‘too hard basket’ by the Adern government. Expect greater pressure on understaffed and underfunded hospital dental facilities, as that ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ is accessed by more and more desperate people unable to afford private dentistry.

    Repeating what you said: ‘Governments, both Labour-led and National-led have ignored the welfare of people on benefits for years. They have treated them as second-class citizens, better kept out of sight and out of mind. The government is about to find out that this will no longer be possible.’

    Yes, the [Adern] government will find out that ignoring the welfare of the people will not be possible, just as they will find out that ignoring the welfare of Mother Earth will not be possible. But not just yet.

    In the meantime the Adern government has the welfare of the international bankers and corporations (along with the welfare of local opportunists) to consider; and we know who has the greatest pull on the strings of power. And it’s not us.

    All I can suggest is that anyone who has meticulously ignored all the warnings until now should wake up and get on with preparations for self-survival because the government won’t be there when you need them most.

    In

  3. To stop the massive spike in unemployment the government should send all the temporary work residents home and cancel the work visas for students. Only have foreign students who can afford to come to NZ and study and not work. This would free up work opportunities in NZ to NZ’s growing unemployed and the tens of thousands of NZ permanent residents and citizens returning to NZ and currently signing up on the dole.

    Some of the people got a NZ passport decades ago and then just see NZ as an easy place to make some money and have never lived here or contributed but can still pop up out of the blue, https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121302846/colour-drained-from-real-estate-agents-face-as-he-realised-hed-been-defrauded-of-120k-in-sim-hijacking-scam.

    NZ has to urgency stop the constant giving away of NZ residency and citizenship due to constant lobbying by self interested groups (currently unite union and migrant workers), short term thinking, aka the children of people who never lived here are able to come back to NZ and commit scams and use our welfare and health system for the rest of their lives much more easily on the back of a NZ passport they can claim without much effort.

    Meanwhile everyone else is facing shortages from the world’s middle class rushing to NZ to get the massive benefits to them that no other country provides for laughable skills no other country wants.

    We don’t now even have enough water for all the current residents in Auckland without restrictions going into winter.

    We also have a massive state housing wait list, which will balloon out of control come June when all those that were encouraged by the woke not to pay rent with their housing allowances, will then join the state house queue as desperately needing state and social housing, along with the other 16,000 currently waiting, the newcomers coming back to NZ and now the unions idea is to give the temp migrants the housing, dole and benefits too and have a massive competition of poverty.

    The idea of then allowing non NZ citizens and even more people to sign up to welfare in NZ (at double the rates) on the back of a Ponzi scheme, take out job is laughable.

    The temp workers are not that poor, aka usually spending tens of thousands to come to NZ in the first place and are middle class or at least able to access sizeable amounts of money before they come. They then cry crocodile tears and take up resources that vunerable people in NZ miss out.

    Queues are everywhere from maternity services, to justice, to child protective services, to social work to family courts after the relationships break up.

    The poverty in NZ is often on the backs of bringing all their love interests, having kids and bringing aged parents to NZ before they gain appropriate residency status, and paying back the job or just being on NZ low wages.

    Low wage ‘manager’ jobs in fast food worker and supermarkets are not enough to live on in NZ and that is not being addressed because rather than unions increasing minimum wages to help the vulnerable, and free up better resources for beneficiaries here, they are instead doing the opposite and creating more workers competing for low wage jobs.

    Pretty sure OZ can afford higher benefits because they make sure that new residents can’t access OZ welfare as they come into the country and it takes a long time to access OZ welfare if you are not an OZ citizen.

    NZ needs to start to do the same. No lessons learnt from the Tarrant situation and the growing dysfunctional migrants coming to NZ (due not to our kind face, but our lazy bums on seats one) and being supported here, while they commit social harm on others and at the expense of everyone else living here.

  4. Q Why Are The Most Desperate Ignored In The Budget?

    A. Because they are too busy propping up the Ponzi schemes operating here who get maximum media time while the vulnerable without massive lobbying get less and less exposure and funding!

    These people seem a lot more vulnerable in society.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/305949/child-who-has-lived-in-van-has-message-for-pm

    A start to help the vulnerable is to cancel the NZ citizenship of those that come to NZ and then commit crimes here.

    It’s cheaper to pay people on temp permits to leave when their jobs go, than to have them here taking up resources in NZ, that we don’t have.

    Many of the migrants that commit small crimes and get off in NZ, then seem to go on and commit even bigger ones. If you have few skills in NZ of course crime becomes a way to get by, we already have enough local criminals that could do with the rehabilitation rather than adding more and more criminals to the mix in our jails and justice system.

    AKA Sroubek committed crimes all the way through their NZ stay, while getting more visas for their spouses or use NZ visas to attract more victims. They then commit even bigger crimes. Time there was a lot more rigour in allowing so many people to come to NZ, give them massive sense of entitlement and let them do whatever they want here.

    Judge: Extraordinary that killer Rohit Singh maintained fiction during murder trial
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12254105

    Dunedin doctor Venod Skantha found guilty of murder of Amber-Rose Rush
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12288940

    West Auckland stabbing: Man remanded in custody after been charged with murder
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/114976886/west-auckland-stabbing-man-remanded-in-custody-after-been-charged-with-murder

    Child abuser wins right to stay in New Zealand for humanitarian reasons
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/84891031/child-abuser-wins-right-to-stay-in-new-zealand-for-humanitarian-reasons

    Child abuse dad avoids deportation on humanitarian grounds to stay with family
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/76059417/

    Iain Lees-Galloway chose ‘lazy’ option granting residency to drink-driver – Simon Bridges
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/10/iain-lees-galloway-chose-lazy-option-granting-residency-to-drink-driver-simon-bridges.html

    New resident convicted of sex offending twice, won’t be deported
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11837608

    Judge’s difficult sentencing of a former refugee who won’t stop offending
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/111480343/judges-difficult-sentencing-of-a-refugee-who-wont-stop-offending

    Rapist wins case to be allowed to stay in NZ
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/327784/rapist-wins-case-to-be-allowed-to-stay-in-nz

    Migrant worker speaks out against exploitation at rural Reporoa holiday park
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118329341/migrant-worker-speaks-out-against-exploitation-at-rural-reporoa-holiday-park

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/110581372/obsessive-exboyfriend-rohit-singh-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-murder-of-arishma-chand?rm=a

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/72529233/Mandeep-Singh-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-central-Auckland-murder

    Cigarette smuggling case: Defendants keep names secret to protect children, employees
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/115014183/cigarette-smuggling-case-defendants-keep-names-secret-to-protect-children-employees

    Auckland building boss charged with fraud after investigation into illegal labour
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12005146

    Lawyers’ fees restrained by police after Auckland drug bust
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11842563

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/82387108/did-fraud-suspect-joanne-harrison-approve-her-own-leave-then-flee-nz

    The businessman and the stolen honey: Sheng Sun sentenced over 480kg mānuka heist
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12077932

    William Yan AKA Bill Liu to keep NZ citizenship despite money laundering conviction
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11905478

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12011961
    Chinese buyers fined $847k after failing to get consent to buy $5m cliff-top Auckland mansion

    http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/departments/news/000564.html
    Deaf NZ child — ‘a burden on the state’ — is murdered; father charged

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/84891031/Child-abuser-wins-right-to-stay-in-New-Zealand-for-humanitarian-reasons

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118004926/family-of-migrant-worker-who-died-on-the-job-seeks-compensation

    Cigarette smuggling case: Defendants keep names secret to protect children, employees
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/115014183/cigarette-smuggling-case-defendants-keep-names-secret-to-protect-children-employees

    Mother and son arrested for smuggling tobacco into NZ
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/117400678/mother-and-son-arrested-for-smuggling-tobacco-into-nz

    Exclusive: Filipino shipping agent escaped jail time after 225k un-taxed cigarettes found in container she arranged
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/content/tvnz/onenews/story/2019/03/07/hold-filipino-shipping-agent-escapes-jail-time-after-225k-un-tax.html

    Who is getting the welfare in NZ from the wage subsidies?

    Coronavirus: Wealthy liquor store barons claim $550k Covid-19 wage subsidy
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/121359471/coronavirus-wealthy-liqour-store-barons-claim-550k-covid19-wage-subsidy

    Covid 19 coronavirus: NZ Couriers claim drivers’ wage subsidy
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12332334

    K-Mart and Harvey Norman who are not NZ companies but leading the charge for NZ taxpayers corporate welfare.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120861003/coronavirus-retail-giants-use-government-welfare-to-get-through-crisis

  5. “Why Are The Most Desperate Ignored In The Budget?”
    Why, that’s an easy answer Mr.
    The political parties we knew and loved, or hated, have mutated into competing, B grade advertising agencies now that neoliberalism’s mated with capitalism.
    The resultant abomination is a hideous parliament building stuffed with greedy Scunthorpe’s making good coin out of those of us lucky enough to be drowning in domestic debt as four banksters take $6 billion yearly from us as their net profit. The very last thing they’re concerned with are ‘ The Most Desperate’ because there’s no money to be made from them. Trump and balsonaro are right. ” Will take a few thousand dead so long as it keeps ‘merica open for business. ”
    AO/NZ? The now mythical one we like to use to sell cheeses, Jesus and the work ethic on to the Masses?
    It’s dead under a hedge son. It’s gone. Done.
    What we have now, is a banksters wet dream populated by the most wretched.
    The post neoliberal/capitalism/advertising agency analogy head fuck has only created monsters. We’re either crawling around in the gutters for fag ends or we’re ignoring the wretched as they do so? Who then, are the most monstrous?
    Labour? Did they save our skins by acting appropriately in our best interests or were they merely protecting their target consumer market?
    The answer to that question would be revealed by looking into our recent, pre C-19 history.
    Labour, like the natzo’s, were quite comfortable with the suffering of those rendered most desperate by [their] actions, or graphic lack of.
    A good example of quasi-political, ad agency high trickery would be the electricity subsidy for retiree’s.
    An old mate who’s retired was rejoicing at his windfall, power subsidy in addition to his pension.
    It’s a scam. Here’s way.
    For example and lets use water-dam power generation. Electricity is generated by water flowing down through turbines which, in turn, turn shafts which spin a winding inside another winding comprised of magnets and in that process, electricity is generated in its crudest form. From there, the electricity goes through a series of transformers where it’s tamed down for your toaster otherwise 150 Kva high make your toast a little singed around the edges.
    The other thing hydro dams do is print money and lots of it.
    Domestic electricity should be cheaper than a Netflix subscription but it isn’t.
    The power subsidy is, in reality, a tax payer windfall for the electricity ‘retailers’ who are nothing more than racketeers not dissimilar to the mafia going around collecting protection money.
    Electricity retailing is a racket.
    Foreign Banksters taking $6 Billion dollars a year out of OUR country then bragging about those net profits is a racket.
    The timber industry is a racket.
    Our agrarian post-farm-gate export industry is a racket.
    Our fisheries is a racket.
    I’m not exaggerating…. The above are all rackets.
    The racketeers are either diverting your tax money into their pockets via the digestive tracts of our ageing or they’re getting in the way of foreign exchange as it comes into AO/NZ where they secret it away into trust funds, the housing swindles ( No capital gains, thus swindle.) or into tax avoiding shelf companies by sending your money here and there and everywhere.
    AO/NZ Co Ltd is, in its entirety, a swindle and the most at risk are a necessary bi-product of that otherwise the swindle game would be outed because suddenly money would appear as if by magic to fix shit up.
    What are your thoughts grant robertson?
    If AO/NZ’s to survive, much less prosper, in the coming months and years of a perfect storm of the Oh! Fuck’s! I.e. Of climate heating, the end of the rise of the phenomenally damaging scams in the form of oil, stocks and bonds and the real and perhaps the most worrying thing of all, starvation, then Labour MUST come clean and try clear and direct honesty for a change.
    While we have our borders closed to travel, how about we use that as an opportunity to boot out the foreign banksters, re nationalise electricity etc and request a royal commission of inquiry into AO/NZ politicians and their past and present relationships with big business, both here and abroad?
    Sir Michael Fay? Did you just shit your panties? Serious question?
    P.S. For the talentless belittlers out there who might suggest the above is a rant in some form or another?
    Well, I guess one could argue that it is. One could also argue that it’s a bowl of cherries with a Gerbil in a deck chair on top enjoying its ice cream.
    But that wouldn’t alter the unassailable fact that you’re just jealous. Jealous obscure little things, banging away with your tall poppy mallets.
    Great stuff @ MT.

    • I love it, countryboy!

      Adding to your list of scams.

      Carbon trading or emission trading, whereby you pay some impoverished nation to not cut down trees or pay some other impoverished nation a subsidy to plant trees; meanwhile you can keep increasing your emission via non-binding emissions reduction targets. And sit back and watch as huge areas of forest and jungle are cut down to provide space for yet more monoculture plantations.

      Aviation, whereby central government or local government pour taxpayers/ratepayers hard-earned money into expansion of airports instead of forcing airline to provide the facilities.

      Corporatised sport, whereby taxpayers/ratepayers are force into paying hard-earned money for infrastructure that allows corporations to profit from sport mania.

      Arguably the biggest scam of all is what you alluded to -banking- whereby institutions are not just permitted but are encouraged to create money out of thin air and charge interest on it. Indeed, the responses of several government to the collapse underway has been to open up new credit facilities, i.e. print more money that will become worthless in the near future.

      ‘YOU CAN’T AVOID THE FINAL COLLAPSE’

      https://goldswitzerland.com/total-catastrophe-of-the-currency-system/

    • I could never understand, still can’t, why Max Bradford instituted the electricity reforms. What was driving that? I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Who stood to win? Because it certainly wasn’t your ordinary kiwi.

      • You answered your own question. Think about it … study a little alternative economic theory and …( hint, neo liberal)
        and voila! … Have fun, it’s not rocket science.

    • Great stuff as usual Mike.

      Great stuff Country Boy.

      I think the screws need to be tightened so people can not come into Aotearoa to be fast food managers on $45 – $50,000 when we have Kiwis who would like the job but are simply not prepared to work ridiculous hours for that $45+ that then puts them on or below the minimum wage. We know this is what it is all about, and it should bloody well be stopped.

      In the meantime we have to support those who are here no matter how they got here.

  6. SADLY Jacinda only seems to want to look left wing when in reality she is TraitorKey (and the Chinese death cult capitalist NACT) light.
    Her Govt just ignored the ‘perfect storm’ to do ‘the right thing’. Thus it begs the question, If not now then when. Occam’s razor suggests NEVER.
    Where is a REAL left wing party in this country that can get into Parliament?

  7. And who prey tell will pay for all this?
    The bill for what they have already committed to spending will be with our children and possibly grandchildren and you want to borrow MORE?

    Like I said 3 months ago when all the lunatics here were screaming for lockdown, the poorest will be the hardest hit by this insanity.

    • I never saw the lockdown as lunacy at all. It had to be done, this was about people lives.

      If Labour got some balls, it will never happen, then the poorest would not have been hardest hit, it would have been spread across the middle class and the 1%ers.

      If there is helicopter money then it should only go to beneficaries, the working poor and those with a community services card. They will all spend it on essentials, not as “Bernard Hickey” said on radio this afternoon ‘use it to help him buy another rental…………………………….

      As a pensioner I got a top up to the hand out we already had for energy payments. That also should go to beneficaries, the working poor and those with community services card. It is stupid to give it to everyone.

  8. Might have something to do with the fact that the top 11% of taxpayers CONTRIBUTE 50% of all income tax collected, while the bottom 35% CONTRIBUTE only 3% of all income tax!

    Source- treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/financial-management-and-advice/revenue-expenditure/revenue-effects-tax-changes/who-pays-income-tax

      • If you just take statistics at face value then sure, you’re correct. But if you want to be mathematically honest then you need the other side of the income statement which is revenue, and if you add it all up then you will realize that the bottom 50% is politically unrepresented.

        • It is odd, then, that many of the world’s wealthiest pay little or NO taxes:

          Companies Paying No Taxes

          That list includes such as Netflix, Starbucks, Amazon, Avis, Whirlpool, Goodyear, General Motors, Chevron, Prudential, DowDuPont, FedEx, Halliburton, HD, Power and Energy companies, Airlines, Financial Groups, Tech companies and more.

        • ” Because it is broad based, it collects 31.4% of total taxation, making New Zealand the highest taxed country in the OECD in terms of sales tax as a proportion of GDP. The rate for GST effective since 1 October 2010 is 15% ” Correct me if I’m wrong but you’re only considering corporate and upper income tax takes?

    • This is a silly argument because income tax is only a small portion of total taxes paid.
      The real question is why do those with the greatest wealth, the 1%, pay so little tax, when they can hide their income in non taxpaying jurisdictions.
      Anyone who talks tax as being only income tax and not all the other raft of taxes they love to criticise is a hypocrite and full of BS.

  9. National and Labour are one in the same.

    One of them will tell you what theyre about to do to you, and the other will just do it.

    You can figure out which is which.

    • Knowing that Denny (if true) my suggestion is simply this.
      We all take control of our OWN lives (Maori included) and stop empowering politicians so much who only run fear campaigns with the sole motive to control every aspect of our lives. Our Government gets bigger & bigger while our own autonomy to make our own decisions in life gets squashed.
      We vote for the wrong people Denny! We ALL vote for the wrong people. They no longer ‘serve’ us, they treat us like economic slaves, they use used car salesman language to weaken us, they name whole departments to make us believers in false victimhoods.
      If we want real change…WE have to change ourselves first. Starting at the ballot box. The pendulum swings and nothing really changes.

      • You should become a priest or something like that. Preach to the converted and the susceptible to your belief system because I’m not interested.

        • And that’s why you think your’e a victim Denny. Closed mind. Let’s blame everything on whitey…..right!

          Maybe you prefer blunt honesty

          • From what you have said, RM, I don’t believe you think the ballot box is the place to put matters aright. Although that’s the option you suggest. Once in power, politicians will always succumb. Power corrupts etc etc – its been proven in one way or another for eons! So the answer is????

  10. No one has yet explained to me how increasing the benefit will get people who have been inter-generational beneficiaries into work by making the dole more attractive?

    • Pissing on people don’t work. We’ve tried it for — checking his watch — 30 fucken 6 years. Kindness , the reality rather than a silly word, makes all of us happier. A social democratic govt, or the rule of the people, would have been much much better and would be much better. All the intelligent are bought off — no, no, except the good who have been proved by 36 years and we all know them. For one, they are poorer. Those neoliberal children ( Labour), the egomanaical Helen Clark etc don’t impress me much. A coalition of the proven willing to talk for our tradition let alone the truth.

  11. Repeat. Five urgent steps:

    “A doubling of the value of the unemployment benefit over the next six months at least.
    Extending benefits to migrant workers who have been brought to New Zealand with the promise of work and education opportunities and now have lost their jobs.
    The income people should be able to earn before benefits are cut should be radically increased to at least levels recommended by the Welfare Experts Advisory Group.
    All benefit entitlements should be individualized so workers can access benefits even if the partner is working.
    The $75 weekly in-work tax credit for a child should be extended to all families.”

    Yes. Meaningful and effective initial demands.

    This is not about the grace of the welfare state. It is about survival and social rights under conditions of an evolving tech/surveillance capitalism.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mtKNOnSQJU
    Frances Fox Piven: Welfare Rights and Social Movement Strategies.

  12. There’s no doubt that the way money is managed today , in the interests of banks and financiers rather than the public, distorts distribution. But it is still inescapable that it’s function ultimately is to facilitate the exchange of what is produced in the community (however extended) and what needs to be consumed. If physical production is outstripped by the needs for consumption, be it food, housing, education ,healthcare etc. then creating extra money to try to give those who don’t have the opportunity to contribute to production, or don’t want to, the purchasing power to consume that which is not being produced cannot create the materials needed. It can only create inflation. The problem is complex. our economy and society is so complex that it is hard to identify where the imbalances occur. But the underlying reality still exists.
    D J S

  13. Powerful Post and Comments here! Thank you all for your continued vigilence and support for a new “Fair Deal” that desperately needs enactment right now! Not tomorrow, or after the election. Screw the election, you Status Quo Gatekeeper Neoliberalist Narrative Guardians don’t deserve an Election until you first fix what is so seriously broken and has been lying dead in the ditch for closing in on a Generation in time. Mike Treen, AFKTT, SaveNZ, Countryboy, thank you for your comments here! Your contributions are so welcome and well thought out! This is the first time I’ve felt the power of unity so strongly and it is sincerely heart warming! Kia Kaha! Excellent post!

  14. The urgent move is to end the repayment of grant money out of future benefit payments – by moving to the tertiary debt repayment system where the debt is repaid when they gain employment.

    The next urgent move is a government scheme to refinance the debt of those moving onto benefits (those losing jobs and or partners going onto the DPB or where the working parent loses their job). There is immediate hardship in ajustment to the lower level income, that debt refinance can mitigate.

    The third move is support for the non working partner – for up to 12 months on losing employment. Perhaps via a living cost loan they repay on finding work.

    The 4th move is UI for those under 25 for the next year (excluding those in FT work or study) as they will struggle to maintain normal income from part-time, casual and gig work. So they are not impacted by the abatement regime of the benefit (which underminds the way out).

    The 5th is paying those with disability super rate benefit.

    Then there is the migrant worker, the abatement regime for beneficiaries and the level of the main benefit ($25 is a start I suppose and the easier to afford home heating). Issues of precedent, cost and politics …

    Greater awareness of the low level of the benefit, because of the increased numbers losing employment, is the ally of those who want change. Increasing the amount for the duration of middle class unemployment gets in the way of this – something Morrison understands.

    You are aware of the open migration to Oz of Kiwis, where we have the visa for migrant workers and the terms of those. There is no benefit entitlement – for Kiwis this means income insurance, saving, or charity until they can return home. As yet there is no charity from the government for those Kiwis. Our government may have to look at organising flights home for migrant workers or recategorising their employmnent eligiblity to enable those with sufficient skills so as to to quickly find new jobs to do so.

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