Dear Labour – we need urgent kindness now

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Dear Labour.

With an unprecedented MMP majority, you not only have a mandate for change, but an obligation and responsibility for change.

The pandemic is the first wave of unstable late stage capitalism where the biosphere simply breaks down and causes enormous damage.

The climate crisis is in acceleration mode. It only gets worse with every passing month.

The pandemic is a symptom of that climate crisis. It is generated by species transfer due to over crowding and habitat destruction.

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Radical change is required, I know that is frightening, but we have no options now and now Labour have been entrusted with a Democratic Majority, then that transformative change requires an immediate harvest to sustain it.

People are frightened, people are stressed out, change is uncomfortable and painful for many.

Kindness has been our strength.

We have an urgent need of kindness right now.

Here is the first 100 days list of urgent kindness the people of NZ require right now.

-Lower Voting Age to 16
To strengthen the franchise of democracy we need to expand it to 16 year olds. They will live with the realities of the climate crisis, they need a voice at the table. The naked truth is that Political Parties will only listen to their concerns when there are votes in it. At a time when our democracy is going to be stressed most, we need young peoples drive and vision to consistently challenge the foot dragging.

-Double Welfare Payments
We have been kind to the newly unemployed by providing them with a welfare payment that is twice that f the ‘normal’ benefit. This has painfully reminded everyone of the hurt being unemployed generates. We must be kind right now. This pandemic isn’t ending until there is a vaccine, and that’s not going to be until the end of 2022 – and that’s the best case scenario. We need to lift ALL benefits to the higher level until there is a vaccine universally available. We can not pretend this economic downturn doesn’t damage the poorest amongst us hardest. We must support them during this pandemic or the social damage will be explosive.

-Free mental health counselling services
The stress that is rupturing throughout our communities comes on top of a mental health landscape that is blighted by some of the worst stats. We simply need to expand counselling and make it free. Not targeted. Free. It is incredibly important that these services are all universal because that’s the only way to ensure the need is being met. Free counselling services are one of the ways the State can safeguard the mental health of the nation during this crisis.

-Free Public Transport for registered Hop Cards
One of the problems with the public transport system during the current lockdown is that unregistered hop cards provide no info to the track and trace teams. Make all public transport free but only with a registered Hop card. This would reduce costs to public transport users while providing essential information during an outbreak.

-Overstayer Amnesty
We have over 11 000 overstayers and tens of thousands more migrant workers and tourists currently in NZ. Until a vaccine is available, we must have an overstayer amnesty, we can’t have effective track and trace if people are too frightened to come froward. Just pass an amnesty for everyone currently here. It’s not right to force people out of a country that doesn’t have Covid into a world full of it. That’s not us as a people.

-30 000 new green State Houses plus rent to own options for state tenants
The only way the failed rental market can self correct is if the desperation is removed from the bottom of the market. Remove beneficiaries and the working poor out of the private rental market and the slumlords will be forced to upgrade their slums. Provide a State House for life with a means to own that house via rent to own methods and we could lift an entire class of NZers out of poverty. Building the state houses in the most sustainable way is an immediate need.

-Freeze on all rents until a vaccine is available
The amputation of vast chunks of our economy can’t be ignored. Expecting renters of commercial or residential properties to pay more in rentals is free market capitalism at its most broken. This moment requires an agreed understanding that the rents don’t go up until a vaccine is available, and when I say agreed, I mean the renters. Landlords will get told what we’ve agreed to.

-Carbon neutral with agricultural emissions included by 2030
The current plan to be carbon neutral by 2050 is a mockery of the problem we face with the climate crisis. I appreciate the climate crisis is an issue in of itself, but the urgency that it demands requires a change of gear expressed in the first 100 days. Bring it forward to 2030. Include agricultural emissions. History is watching.

-Feed the Kids – free breakfast and lunches across all schools
Feed all our children healthy food that will provide them with the best fuel to learn while building community with the breaking of bread daily. It is obscene that we aren’t doing this already. This isn’t about letting parents off from feeding their children, it is providing the basic level of kindness we extend to all our children.

-Remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables
This truncated economy and elongated hardship requires changes that are immediate and long lasting. Removing GST from fruit and vegetables is a way of making good choices at stressful times easier. That’s what the State is supposed to provide. Reward people for making better choices.

-Sugar Tax
These sugar pimps who push an addictive and lethal drug must be hit with a 20% tax. Everyone has to help pay for the damage they do and it’s time Big Sugar paid for their damage.

-Free Dental for all children & beneficiaries
This is urgent and needed now.

-Digital tax on Facebook/Google used to fund NZ Journalism
We have seen an explosion of conspiracy theories damage the credibility of our democracy. This is being driven via Facebook and Google, two international entities that currently gut the mainstream media’s revenue streams. We must join with Australia and hit them with a media tax which is ring fenced and ploughed into NZ journalism alongside a major boost for public broadcasting including a youth radio station and 24hour TV News service.

-Financial Transaction Tax
The wealthy speculate off the exploitation of greed. Tax them with a Financial Transaction Tax, bring in huge sums of revenue from those who speculate so we can afford these social programs and actively attempt to rebalance the inequalities.

-Immediate expansion of State capacity
35 years of amputation under neoliberalism has left a state barely able to function. The NZ public sector employs 295 800, the pandemic has highlighted what that shortage of capacity does. We need a wholesale boost to the capacity of the State so that we can handle this ongoing issue and have the capacity to deal with the next crisis.

-10 sick days
Just do it already.

What is the point of winning an outright majority if you aren’t going to use it?

What is the point of kindness if it can’t stop suffering?

Replacing Winston as a handbrake with every landlord in NZ isn’t progress.

History is watching.

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43 COMMENTS

    • Yes, this should be near the top of the list. You can up benefits etc, but we all know where a lot of the benefit increases end up going.

      The outdated and no longer fit for purpose Reserve Bank mandate needs addressing to rein in the property ponzi scheme. This monetary policy madness has already done untold present and future damage.

      Adrian Orr is champing at the bit to inflate house prices even further with negative interest rates.

      • Yes Polly, benefit increases are immediately factored in by landlords, and ZZZAPPP! they’d be gone in a blink. So, rent freezes first, or at the same time.

  1. Wont happen. You’ll be lucky to get 2 things from that list. The Blairite won’t risk it. The housewife from Millwater and her outdoor pizza oven as far more important because guess what you’ll vote for her anyway. If if you don’t slow Jimmy will (for a handful of silver) Enjoy the neoliberal, globalist realpolitik.

  2. Increase in Natl Superannuation is what I & many, many other super annuitants urgently need – every time I go to buy food, prices of some items have increased. I NEVER drink “out” nor do I eat “out” EVER. No films EVER, no concerts EVER. No money for subscriptions to any organisations. In my eighties I still have $25k mortgage to pay off. As a NZRN I was paid “sixpence” all my working life – which Multiple Sclerosis cut short by many years. Even the Winter Energy payment is calculated so as to be unfair to solo super annuitants. It costs as much to heat a lounge for 1 as it does for 2. I barely use my heat pump – I use a hot water bottle on my knees.

    • @ isabel.h
      Ah yes. But now you have a voice. You can be heard. Continue to speak your mind Isabel.
      Truman Capote wrote : ” Sharpen your pencil and show no fear”.
      Basically @ isabel.h you’re being ripped off.

    • Why don’t you run for office in the next election instead of just writing and demanding and talking but actually get nothing done? Is this a joke or what, Mr Bradbury? Stop giving the left a bad name.

      • Hard to see why advocating on behalf of poor and downtrodden people should be a bad thing to be doing.

        Hard to see why Mr Bradbury should be criticised for not actioning what pollies keep failing to action.

    • As a pensioner myself I felt sad to read your comments. I am not wealthy but am able to enjoy doing thinks with friends.
      Without knowing your circumstance can I suggest you look at a reverse mortgage. You obviously have a property which in the current climate would be worth good money . Many of our generation seem to feel they owe it to their children to leave a legacy but it should not be at the expense of your own enjoyment which you deserve.

      • I think that’s good advice, Trevor. Isabel, maybe have your place independently valued. You might be surprised, as even in the last few months almost all property values have ballooned further. Then consider a Reverse Mortgage?

      • Trev many retirees with families know if their home is not passed on then their kids will have little chance of ever owning a home.
        Isabel are you eligible for an accommodation supplement with that mortgage and your relatively low income.

    • Isabel – If you do look at a reverse mortgage they may want you to get it valued by a valuer of their choice, at your expense, ok ? This is what happened to me when I considered it a while back.

      Four years ago a chartered accountant explored it for me, and told me the best choice – hopefully I still have that info somewhere – but whether it still stands as best choice, I wouldn’t know. The Consumer website may have something. If I can find mine I can let you know – I have rather a lot of paper files, not all well organised.

      I mentioned doing it to one of my kids once, and got a negative reaction, but they’ve had inheritances already, and are much better off than me, so I decided that if I do it, and they’re in no great need, then I will.

      Do try and keep warm – too long being cold, does have a health impact, no matter how stoic one may be!
      Also, if you sit in your property and the value increases, and the proposed Green wealth tax rears it’s head, the govt may hit you with their millionaire tax, but your needs are much more important, especially if you live to a ripe old age. Kia kaha

      • The cold can be very restricting. A body needs warming rather than a room.
        Op shops may have some warm layers of clothing to keep the legs and arms cosy. The main central body can respond well to warm layers but circulation to the extremities has to be watched. Fingerless gloves are a help as well as mittens when it is really cold. You can use both if not active with your hands.
        Warming a house is just too expensive on a pension

    • @ Mark.
      Excellent question. How, indeed, do we pay for all that lovely stuff.
      Can I offer up a suggestion which might help us all find the answer to your probing question..?
      My suggestion is; to look to the past.
      Look to the past…
      What do you see?
      Look backwards to the beyond.
      Here we go.
      Where did the revenue come from that enabled us as a country to build our infrastructure, i.e. Our roading, our bridges, our rail, our coms, our airline, our electricity, our medical, our dental, our universities, our cities, our arts, our museums, our egalatarian MJ Savage eutopia that saw us rocket to first world status and our millionaires and our billionaires who do nothing of real and actual value for their outrageous fortunes that now critically deprive the unlucky and the unlovely.
      What did you eat yesterday, last year, last decade, last century…?
      What did your whanau eat yesterday, last year, last decade, last century…?
      What happened on 15 February 1882 ?
      What happened 38 years later?
      What happened in 1920?
      What happened in the intervening years between about 1945 and 1984?
      To the only person in the room who can see the elephant it’s a devilish job to convince others that the vast grey thing that sniffs in one end and shits out the other and who just ate the salad is indeed an elephant.
      I insist on an answer. I could do with a laugh.

      • countryboy: We use to part of the British empire, in a political and later economic sense. We were part of Britain, the agricultural part. That empire looted the rest of the world and New Zealand reaped the rewards of that. In the early 1970s Britain looked to Europe and that’s when the balance of payments turned negative forcing the reforms, like it or not of the early 1980s.

        Those days of the West having unfettered access to the rest of the world’s resources is gone and now NZ has to make its onw way in a hungry and vicious world.

        So I ask you again. Where is our revenue going to come from? Our income?

        • Mark we got looted too.

          But we did have a market for dairy and meat. English companies were right throughout those industries but we got crumbs.

    • There are some good ideas but as with most Green thinkers there is no thought of how it is paid for. $100 for dental checkup which took 15 min $500 for an extraction. $80 for councillor which is a reduced rate as pension is my only income normally $140 with a 6 week wait time between appointments Sugar tax sounds good but in UK they amount paid was half expected because they changed make up to reduce sugar but upped other fillers. GST off fresh fruit is a nightmare to work out as I found out in Australia and that expense has to be past on. 10 sick days great but along with extra day off and other costs of labour who pays.It would be a better idea if workers could claim a sick week off through ACC. Free food for children is good a orked well in UK growing up. Hopefully this wold help them be able to learn and move out of the poverty trap.

  3. What a surplus of biomass??? They’ll achieve sweet friggin all under Blaircinda just a smiling grinning national Lite Government. Useless bunch of neoliberal w*nkers.

    • Yes, including a MOW (we need a 21st century version).
      Can’t understand why the author keeps leaving of his “to do” lists……… 🙂

    • BHI?
      When I was sixteen I was shooting guns, driving cars and fucking. Why the Hell couldn’t I have voted too? You’ve seen what more adulter cluster fuck mopes voted for in the past? National for Christ’s sake !
      national lied to farmers, ripped us all off, they’re mostly fat and they all dress funny. All, unforgivable transgressions in my opinion.
      “Where did we lose it as a country?” Well, use your imagination for Gods sake?
      We’re solely an agrarian economy and thank the baby Jesus for that too.
      Here’s some figures for you.
      AO/NZ = 25 thousand square km’s BIGGER than the UK. AO/NZ’s fucking huge. Especially when compared to human feet per sq km.
      AO/NZ has about 5 million people. After public holiday driving fiascos it’s usually a few less.
      ( Holiday-driving riving dumb asses? DON’T fucking tailgate. Keep well back because you can see more. Then? When the road’s clear? Floor it. Fuck the cops. Just go fast because you’ll be on the wrong side of the road dumbasses.)
      Of that 5 million people about 52 thousand people make their sole living from agrarian enterprises.
      Courtesy Dept of Statistics.
      Let that sink in….
      Invercargill has a population of 56 thousand people.
      Four thousand less than those who live in Invercargill earn our economy. Yep. All of it. You don’t like it? Well, too bad. Suck it up.
      Ha! I can hear all the wee accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, corporate philanderers, suit wearing prancers, pouters, players and snide shadow dwellers whinging but sorry boys and girls and all permutations of that but you’re second in line to the farmer.
      ( Raspberry…! )

      • Agree totally about the wankers who tailgate. Especially at high speeds.

        And here’s a little something from Lara Harts opinion piece today that backs up a little of what you’re saying…

        Govt needs to target our soaring cost of living | Stuff.co.nzwww.stuff.co.nz › the-press › opinion › govt-needs-to-tar…

        • Yes Yes Yes to both your opinions here. I am tailgated regularly by men in big cars on the motorway I’m compelled to drive to visit an invalid sibling. It is dangerous and scarey. I’ve considered going at 6am or 9pm when there’s less traffic, but that’s not helpful visiting unwell people. There’s an odds-on chance I could die in an accident, but being left alive and severely injured would really piss me off.

          I read and agreed with Lara Hart’s opinion piece, relieved that it wasn’t just me managing badly, having spent too much over two days at the supermarket, including for food I needed to take visiting. I grow many of my own vegetables with arthritic hands, and am pissed off also, about the outrageous costs of basic necessities which cost considerably less in my periods living in the UK.

          It’s wicked that it’s cheaper to eat processed foodstuffs there, than our own fresh primary foodstuffs here. Politicians don’t care. The right people are becoming richer, while poorer persons and the tax dollar grapple with the health and other impacts of people eating badly – and then parliamentarians have the nerve to bleat away about choice , and personal responsibility, under a system devised to benefit them and their besties.

          • the outrageous costs of basic necessities

            Yes.

            It’s wicked that it’s cheaper to eat processed foodstuffs there, than our own fresh primary foodstuffs here.

            GST on our fresh foods in particular is cruel and plain wrong. It doesn’t happen in Aus, the UK or Canada. WHY do they do it, when the effects are so crippling, and so harmful for people’s health in the longer term.

            • Why do they do it ? Because it enriches the tiny percentage of persons which neoliberalism is designed to benefit, and at the expense of those who can least afford it, that’s why. And that tiny percentage are besties with the pollies.

              Health costs don’t matter a damn, because the people who do matter have the means to circumvent the public health system anyway.

              That’s the way it’s always been, it just became more blatantly codified under the politics of neoliberalism.

              Thank goodness we now have a transformational govt…

          • As long as the share market performs for the few then we will all be locked into crumbs from their tables.
            The stock market produces nothing you can eat not does it help the kids an general population. Investors greed and gambling controls too much of our resource.
            When it crashes or the banks go down we pay for those gamblers profits.
            Its rigged and called capitalism. You have been taught to like it by those who profit from it.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htPeWxpBEOw

  4. Where will you get the money to do all this? From the Reserve Bank of course, by creating our money supply from nothing as the banks currently and disastrously do. But you cant say that because that would mean supporting Social Credit policy and you will never do that.
    What is the point of removing GST on food when you can drop GST on everything by introducing a Financial T ransaction Tax. The rate required to do that is quite small and wouldn’t be noticed by the man in the street. Only speculators will be hurt. But you cant say that because it Social Credit policy. Tough.
    Now someone will claim how Saint Mike Savage saved the day in the ’30’s by introducing similar policies. Totally wrong. Savage was a conservative like Adhern. The man who promoted those policies and deserved the accolades was John Lee and he was a fervent supporter of Social Credit. In 1940 he was sacked from the Labour party for being a nuisance. Read the book “The Scrim /Lee papers”. On the other hand dont bother, you might learn something.

  5. I only hope that Jacinda and Labour are as useless at implementing their policy over the next three years as they were in the last, quite frankly its the only chance that we have got to get the countries economy back on track!

  6. Hear hear

    Their new National Party rural supporters voted for such.
    FTT is not a good tax btw as it like a CGT requires a disposal….land taxes far better and more immediate especially on rural communities who support the new way even in the mighty Waikato Party vote Labour! ;). The family trusts already prepare annual accounts, easy to clip that ticket.

    Party Votes
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    UPSTON, Louise18646
    National Party12781
    FREEMAN, David1519
    ACT New Zealand3889
    GLENDINING, Danna1570
    Green Party1325
    New Zealand First Party1050
    QUINN, Jan-Marie533
    New Conservative591
    The Opportunities Party (TOP)477
    Advance NZ

  7. A war govt. ‘Dear’ is not apposite to these brutes. With their funny faces.
    If we represent truth above politics. Yep, that’s a comment about other Left bloggers.
    The incredible lack of enthusiasm among lovers of truth that greeted Labour’s victory this time.

    For amusement’s sake I’m on the verge Of being kicked off The Standard for saying this sort of thing. By which the Left dies.

  8. Undecided about allowing 16 year olds to vote but YESSSSSSSSSS TO EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST Including a financial tax , sugar tax and the expansion of state capacity with a new ” our promise to you ” to put people before profit and the ” market does not buy influence here.

    • Or Jeff Bezos!! Some sort of class action suit from Aotearoa, for billions. Bezos filled oceans with plastic, in effect, yet is celebrated as “Richest man in the world”. How does that work again?

      There really is something in what you’re saying. Those few individuals who have hoarded up all the world’s free flowing cash, instead of clapping them on the back and saying, “Good bloke”, they need to be given a sharp tap on the shoulder, and then some reckoning. We just need to sort out the “Hows” and set the ball rolling.

      • How their rotten system works, global billionaire wealth surged to record trillions

        While Covid-19 has taken the lives of over one million people across the globe and exacerbated economic precarity for millions more, the combined wealth held by the world’s 2,189 billionaires has skyrocketed—increasing by 27.5% between April and July 2020 and reaching a record high of $10.2 trillion.

        “The super-rich got even richer while millions of people around the world lost their jobs,” tweeted Richard Burgon, a British Labour Party parliamentarian. “That’s not a coincidence,” Burgon added. “That’s how their rotten system works.”

      • LOL. Jeff owns WAPO and a liberal darling just like Gates and Branson. I’d argue long and hard the Blairite will never harm one of her fellow globalists.

        There is a better chance the sickness benefit would be reduced under the current government than meaningfully taxing US IT multinationals.

  9. Yes I am looking forward to some kindness and the Maori lens promised to us by Ruawhe ( from the Te Tai Hauauru electorate)

  10. The idea of rent to own state housing is absurd, state housing should be provided by the government for a limited term as a safety net. It is not the role of government to be both a wholesale housing developer and mortgage lender to beneficiaries.

    It is NOT a right to own a home, for most, it is an aspiration that takes considerable effort and sustained dedication to achieve. Why deplete the state housing stock and provide a shortcut for people who by all objective measures have not earned it, this only serves to increase the burden these people are upon the rest of us.

    Currently the government charges as little as $100pw; if i rent to own a 400k property, for 5 years, i pay 26k – in reality most of this would have come from a benefit anyway so did i really pay at all? in this interim, the property has likely increased in value by 100-150k, i then sell the property and pocket the difference. I didn’t address my dysfunctions, i didn’t study, i didn’t apply myself, i didn’t take a risk, i didn’t reign in my vices, i didn’t earn a thing, yet i walk away with a fortune courtesy of the tax payer.

    How is this fair? where are the fraction of market rate mortgages for the rest of us?

    Digital extortion like the one proposed in Australia – hm, the phrase don’t bite the hand that feeds you seems utterly applicable here, if i were in charge of google i’d simply remove you from the results rather than pay you – media companies of old need to adapt, traditional broadcast media is awful, any time i turn on the TV i am reminded how horrid it is, it needs to die.

    Lowering the voting age, this is the opposite of voter suppression yet is motivated by the same intent, the perceived benefit of one end of the political spectrum.

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