The Covid income support payment is all lost for any sort of employment – that is nuts


The government plan for financial support for newly unemployed is a very useful emergency measure.

Anyone made unemployed after Mach 1 is eligible for a tax free payment of $490 a week (if they were working 30 plus hours) or $250 a week (if they were working 15-29 hours a week.)
Many critics pointed to the obvious fact that this created two classes of unemployed – those who became unemployed before March 1 who get half the money available to those who became unemployed after March 1.
But another massive problem is that the new benefit appears to be available to someone only if they are not employed at all – even as a casual.
This means anyone who becomes unemployed in the next 12 weeks will refuse any part time work offered to them because they will lose the new payment. This is obviously supid so we hope will be changed in the future to allow some income on top of what they get as a tax-free payment.
The 12 week payments are very useful. They allow the workers being made unemployed after the wage subsidy to get at least the same minimum payment they were getting before.
And tens of thousands of workers are going to need this payment as the wage subsidy expires for over a million workers on June 8.
Beneficiaries from before March 1 should also have access to this payment.
Both categories of beneficiary should also be able to earn an income that matches a living wage before having any income abated. Currently that is about $400 a week more than the current full-time income support payment.
Currently a pre-March 1 beneficiary can only earn $90 a week before losing 70 cents of every extra dollar earned.
Under the current rules a post March 1 beneficiary would lose 100 percent of their income support if they got any form o9f employment.
That is nuts.


  1. The system should always be tipped firmly towards adding money to those moving towards the outcome you want, i.e. getting into work. There should be an obvious beneficial nudge.

    Similarly as people find themselves in need of a safety net, the system needs to act more like a trampoline than a entanglement. Get monetary support to them immediately, even at the cost of a bit of money lost where not necessarily deserving.

    The System shouldn’t be the sludge that sucks people down.

  2. Gotta say Mike, this Govt never thinks things through properly. But If it can be made into a buzzword, Labour throws buckets of money at it without blinking an eyelid. Here goes…
    Kiwibuild sounds sexy. City Rail link sounds sexy. Govt Guaranteed Loan sounds sexy. 1 billion trees sounds sexy. 8000 state homes sounds sexy. Most Open and Transparent sounds sexy. No more child poverty sounds sexy. And here is the best one of them all – Shovel Ready. Hahahaha I think I’ll start selling T-shirts’.

    • That’s a good business idea – Ironic TShirts Herman SR. Go for it – grasp the nettle or any other cliche – Cliches are good because they appeal to the conformist, and That’s Us. Do go in for the Tshirts someone, we have to make our own jobs so that we have something in hand for the times between the job opportunities in our district that rise up for a while before disappearing again. And the idea of Cliche’ Tshirts, or ones with pithy sayings, I think that would appeal.

  3. Cheese paring government seeing dodgy behaviour hiding behind every wall – probably they learned that trick from their earliest involvement with other politicians and administrators. Some good, a lot loose.
    But another massive problem is that the new benefit appears to be available to someone only if they are not employed at all – even as a casual.
    This means anyone who becomes unemployed in the next 12 weeks will refuse any part time work offered to them because they will lose the new payment. This is obviously supid so we hope will be changed in the future to allow some income on top of what they get as a tax-free payment.

    People can’t afford to take gig jobs and then be cut out of the offer and have nothing. The Welfare Divison are so reluctant to actually do their job, but that must be being encouraged by the penny-pinchers and pony-tail-pullers at the political and Treasury ends.

    I shouldn’t be too dismissive of pony-tail pullers, at least they are human. The trend to step back from people’s government and leave it to metal boxes and electrical charges is a step more frightening than having people suffering from psychosis* in charge. And then have to go back to the dead hands of WINZ ‘Lose all hope before you enter here’ floating in the air before their door, if they actually have any real bricks and mortar location; If not, find money to charge your cellphone and wait for the tone – all set to discombobulate and deflate you as a person.
    *psychosis ; google – a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

  4. I used the term cheese-paring a moment ago when referring to the ‘Welfare’ Divison of gummint.
    About cheese – I buy the more expensive sliced cheese sitting ready to grab and use straight away. It means that I eat it regularly, and don’t have lumps in the fridge getting mould. So I spend more and get a good result.

    That illustrates what is wrong with our Welfare. They are only concerned about money and the amount they are allocated is not adequate to do a good job for the people. So the people, especially the young, suffer. And the government actually brought about that suffering by choosing to go free market.

    They would not have a lot of choices in the the hard capitalist world. But they went into it eager boots and all, our elected government did. Who were they serving at the time? Did they consider their responsibility of assisting those who were to be affected by the loss of jobs and systems that would occur; after this major disruption to lives with only vague platitudes about the future? And these failing politcians and planners have adopted a high-and-mighty approach to the strugglers plunged into poverty by them, and now disavowed by all poncy smart-arses throughout the country, many of whom I know well, and who can never be thoroughly likeable because they lack something in their hearts and minds. They do not care to think our situation through from go to whoa and know the truth about the facts they see and hear about.

  5. Thank you Jacinda. I use to support ACT, but you have my vote this time. I thank your government for its genorosity!

  6. It might suck but as incompetent as I find this Government to be, let’s be fair about it.
    It was an extraordinary measure taken in extraordinary times and yeah, they have fucked some things up.

  7. We AO/NZ’ers need to be pushed ever harder into a corner. I invite our all bought and paid for politicians to get ever tougher, ever more cruel.
    I hope we become ever poorer, ever sicker, ever more miserable and down trodden and when things become intolerable it will be then, that we’ll fight back. And we will fight back. It’s now all about timing but don’t wait too long.
    What ‘They’ did to us few on a beautiful and rich land to sate their greed was treason so the danger now is that they’re trying to make good their escape and they’ll do anything to cover their tracks and if it means that they must countenance throwing a few dollars at we the masses then so be it, but lets not make it too easy for them, aye boys?
    Smack the banksters then put that 6 billion dollars they swindle out of us yearly in net profits back into our pockets.
    Next thing would be to purge our tax systems of minions to the crooks and increase tax on those whom most benefit from the sale of what were once our stuff and things by 150%.
    Then? A royal commission of inquiry. Lets look up their arseholes to see if their hats are on straight?
    Let’s look into their pocketsess, lets look at where their tax havens are, lets see who’s who in Panama, Switzerland and the Cook Islands. I hear that little scab chandler’s hiding his bent little spine in Russia.
    Lets go and get them! ?
    Or perhaps not? Get drunk. Smack the kids and the missus, buy a bigger tv… Maybe we’re not being abused quite enough yet.
    They’re looking closely at us so lets look closely back?

  8. Kia ora Mike
    This payment is not an unemployment benefit or a Universal Basic Income.
    It is, as Ms Sepuloni stated, based on the model of “unemployment insurance”.
    UB and UBI are designed to allow or even encourage beneficiaries into paid employment. Unemployment insurance is not. If you crash and write off your car, the insurer will claim the full amount of any value that can be salvaged from the wreck. It is not left to you as a little extra.
    The state as insurer has an added reason for not allowing you to salvage some value from your unemployment. Every hour that you work will be an hour that some other unemployed person does not work, and therefore every hour you work while drawing insurance becomes an unemployment liability and potential cost to the state.
    This policy is not “nuts” but it does have grave implications.
    It signals that the state is poised to move away from the unemployment benefit system to an unemployment insurance system under which unemployed people will receive payments in proportion to their past average income. The so-called “Two Tier” system (actually a “Three Tier” system) is the first step towards a completely individualized system of unemployment insurance. (The unemployment benefit may be retained as a payment of last resort for the small number of chronically or permanently unemployed, or it may even disappear entirely with the troublesome long term unemployed being left in the care of private charity. Time will tell).
    This makes perfect sense for the state and capital.
    It will oblige workers to provide for their own unemployment risk and obviate irksome redundancy payments.
    It will allow people across the entire range of the income distribution to draw on funds sufficient to meet their normal living expenses.
    It will release WINZ from the nightmare of administering the Job Seeker benefit.
    It will render unemployment provision consistent with the principles of Accident Compensation and individualised (KiwiSaver) superannuation in New Zealand.
    Where the present government is leading, National and ACT will gladly follow.
    This policy would be “nuts” if the state was intent on creating an egalitarian society. But the colonial regime has no such agenda. From the moment of its inception, or indeed its conception, the purpose has been to build a class society, and this policy will be a positive step along the way to that end.

  9. Over my voting life I have written to successive govts about this issue. Im disabled and unable to work. I tried having a normal life like everyone else but as much as the govt tells us discrimination against the disabled is llegal nobody would give me employment. I got married and my wife works for a living and subsequently Im unable to claim a benefit.
    She walked out of her job in February this year just before this Covid lockdown and I was able to claim the Supported Living Payment after 15 years of zero support from the govt, the wife started looking for work and had a job interview during the lockdown and got the job she applied for. She started on Monday and again I have been chucked off the benefit because she earns too much. But its still less than the 2 grand the Covid crowd can earn.
    Fucking over everything govt. Wrote a letter to Carmel about a year ago and she sent a reply regurgitating all the effort I put in myself but didnt offer any help whatsoever. And then they do this, I felt so insulted I have written her a letter and told her I feel insulted and Im not going to bother voting anymore.

  10. Having muddle nu-zild think that the unemployed live a life of Riley on the taxpayer dime is a useful myth to perpetuate, for both political wings. After all, you never know when a show of getting tough on the bludgers might come in handy.
    It would be very disruptive if the COVID newly unemployed discovered the truth.


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