Tackling the Big Issues in 2022? Yeah Right!


All’s right with the world according to the latest release from  Labours spin machine 

We’re committed to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. The work we’ve done so far to boost families’ incomes and lift children out of poverty has resulted in improvements across all nine child poverty indicators, and 2022 will see further changes come into force to help whānau make ends meet and ensure more children can get a great start in life.

The Labour Party’s New Year’s message cries out for a reality check.  How does not having enough money for food square with being the best place in the world to be a child? Food banks through the Christmas period report distributing food parcels on a massive and unprecedented scale. The demand is not magically going to stop in the New Year, and furthermore a wave of back to school costs will just intensify the unsustainable pressure.

As the figure CPAG provides from the official data shows, progress on child poverty under Labour, even before Covid was not the transformative poverty reduction we were promised. The red part of the figure shows the numbers of children in severe poverty have barely budged- there should be zero under this line.

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But the official data is always two years out of date. While the latest figures are unavailable we know from the social sector and harrowing media stories that the last two years of lockdowns has been particularly hard on families and children.

In “Tackling the big issues in 2022” we are told, no worries, help is on the horizon. 

In April, for families with children, main benefits will increase by $15 per adult per week. An additional package of improvements to family support will also come into effect, with boosts to Working for Families payments, including the Family tax credit and Best Start, lifting the incomes of nearly 350,000 families by an average of $20 a week.

Let’s analyse that. The $15 extra per adult beneficiary should have been made last year. In the name of saving the state money, the time on inadequate benefits has been prolonged pushing up family debt. The state may have less debt but families have more.

The claim of an increased $20 per family Working for Family payments includes the periodic inflation adjustment that is obligatory under the legislation once cumulative inflation exceeds 5%.  Families have waited 4 long years for the acknowledgement of this slide in their spending power. The real increase is just $5 extra per child in Working for Families payments will make little difference.

The 160,000 children in families in the red zone (below the very lowest 40% after housing costs line) will still be drowning without a lifeline.  These children are denied the full Working for Families package of at least $72.50 a week, saving government around $500m a year.  Their parents are often sick and face soaring rents or live in squalid temporary motel accommodation. Debts to the IRD and MSD are increasing with many fearful of seeking relief from work and income knowing support has to be repaid.  Hunger is widespread. 

Many other children in low-income families where there is paid work and incomes exceed $42,700 gross will find now the state wants them to repay more of their WFF tax credits back with an increase in abatement from 25% to 27% when they earn a little extra.  That change was pushed through the House under urgency and contradicts Labour’s concern about work incentives. The mess of effective marginal tax rates that can exceed 70% over long income ranges has been swept under the carpet.

At the same time many New Zealanders are getting fabulously wealthy in a sustained speculative housing boom. Balance sheets of the top end of town have never looked healthier. The very wealthy live in a parallel universe, most oblivious to what is happening unless the lack of low paid workers to service their lifestyles inconveniences them.

On misery street, years of not having enough income has reduced household assets and increased debt – something that the current framework of child poverty reduction income targets renders invisible. A few dollars more per week will not solve the accumulated problem of diminished family balance sheets, real transformation is needed urgently.

So far the signs are that we can look forward to more spin and self-congratulations from Labours well-oiled machine in 2022, while deep and desperate family poverty entrenches a large underclass that portends ever increasing social unrest and polarisation.



  1. Fifteen bucks – several years after they slapped on additional tax on fuel – two taxes for Aucklanders and implemented policies that have driven up rents enormously. That’s not winning in anyone’s book!

    But let’s be honest, in order to win 50% of the vote all they have to do is appeal to the 50% of the population with below average IQ. 😉

  2. The hard times have only just begun for the vast majority.

    Just wait a few more months and see what declining oil availability, higher energy costs, rampant devaluation of money in the system [due to excessive ‘money-printing’ by central banks], declining capacity to produce food [due to planetary overheating and environmental collapse] and social breakdown bring.

    Meanwhile, people like Jacinda Adern will continue to amass personal fortunes at the expense of everyone else. The figure currently talked about is $22 million acquired by Adern since she became PM, but it’s probably a lot more than that by now.

    “Let them eat cake” [if they have no bread].

    The only really interesting political question is: how much longer can the criminals and clowns that constitute political parties hang on to power, and how much more deceitful and vicious will they become in the pursuit of personal gain at the expense of everyone else?

    Fascism (the melding or corporate and government interests backed up by force) already rules, and we should not be surprised to see anyone who disagrees getting ‘annihilated’. It has always been so whenever psychotic sociopaths gain power.

    • We have had excessive money printing in the world for well over a decade now. What makes you think that devaluation will happen now as opposed to anytime since money printing became a thing back in 2008?

      Now don’t get me wrong, I am on your side, but unlike you, I believe that the criminals and clowns are actually in the process of consolidating power rather than losing grip of it….

      • {We have had excessive money printing in the world for well over a decade now.}
        Over 400 years more likely. Ever since the days of the goldsmiths.

    • I am no fan of Jacinda and her government but I would like to see how she amassed this fortune you talk about . When you accuse some of sculduggery of this level you need to produce facts as there is not way it could occur honestly . You sound very much like the antivaxers

      • Well said Trevor/Joseph. I’m okay with people making statements with proof, not ” it’s there in front of you” hyperbole. The figure currently talked about is a discussion I’ve not heard of or read anywhere, who talks about it, where did it come from?

    • “Jacinda Adern will continue to amass personal fortunes at the expense of everyone else. The figure currently talked about is $22 million acquired by Adern since she became PM”

      Please elaborate if you are one of the few who know the truth?

      • they won’t put up because they can’t put up, we had a phrase when I was a kid ‘he’s a fuckin melt’ meaning all lip but disappears when the scrap starts.

        that’s anti-vaxx rightards in a nutshell…all mouth no trousers.

  3. ” If you work hard you can achieve anything.”
    Doesn’t that sound like “Arbeit macht frei” ?
    What do I write about neoliberal-capitalism as being fascist?
    We’re literally living within a fascist state… Who else is worried by that?
    If we cut one of roger douglas’s balls off he’d be just like hitler!

    • In the socialist country I lived in, we were taught to worship work. At the begining of the day at school we sang a song about “Work the mother of progress” (in accordance with Engels'”The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man”) and we were always reminded that “if a man will not work, he shall not eat” (of course, no one told us that this is from the Bible 2 Thessalonians 3,10). We had a duty to work, if you were caught without a stamp from an employer showing that you were employed in your ID, you were considered to be a parasite and put into jail where everybody worked.
      Would you like to imply these rules in New Zealand? None would be unemployed. And, of course, we will nationalise the banks. What a beautiful future.

      • Alexandra firstly we need a government that says ‘we will have jobs for every single available person’. We have never had a government that said this. There are jobs for everyone and they need to be properly paid.

        Imagine a much more ‘involved’ society where people feel they are doing their bit, our rivers cleaner, our streets cleaner, all State and council housing painted and really presentable and many many other things.

        Once we have a government that says and actually does that we can stop the unemployment benefit. But only then.

        The government prefers to pander to business and keep wages low which suits business and top people up for housing etc. It’s called subsidising business.

        Idiotic that we have never ditched the banks, all that dosh that buggers off to Australia – probably can’t do that now because of one of our many trade agreements. But then the government hasn’t pumped enough money into kiwi bank and the government pathetically doesn’t bank with them, that alone would make the bank ‘very’ viable.

    • In the socialist country where I lived, we worshiped the Work. As children we start school singing Hail the Work, the mother of all progress (in accordance with EngelsˇThe Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man). We were constantly reminded that “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (of course they did not say that this is from the Bible, 2 Thesalonians 3, 10). The duty of a citizen was to work and if anyone was caught without a stamp of an employer in the ID, he/she was considered to be a parasite and sent to jail, where everybody guess what? worked. Of course, we have no unemployment. And the banks were nationalized. And regardless of how hard you worked you got only the basic so that we all had problem to make ends meet. So, which is better: work hard and achieve, arbeit macht frei or very similar Hail the Work, the mother of progress?

      • @ACD ( Interesting name BTW. )
        That’s not a socialist democracy you’ve just described. That’s fascism. You’ve just described fascism, call it socialism if you must.
        What AO/NZ had, prior to the neoliberal-capitalist fascists who stole our country out from under our noses, was a socialist-democracy. One could build wealth, inherit wealth, and/or could earn wealth and at the same time, those most at risk could fall back on a taxes funded social system that was well healed and able to provide security and safety to everybody. A system who’s only failure was to be far too good for its own survival. It got picked off then butchered for its flesh and the little prick who did the picking and butchering was a pig ‘farmer’. I like irony but this is ridiculous.
        That fundamental system I write about was flourishing. That system gave us a rail infrastructure, a postal service, an airline, state housing, the 40 hour week and world class educations etc to the very same people who grew into adults, were educated at state funded Universities who then went on to fuck us all without the kissing because greed transcends all normal social bounds
        Further more, I’m not surprised that you failed to point that out.
        Who are you really? Greedy crooks stole our stuff and things so I’d expect fruity exchanges like this.

        • @countryboy. To avoid misunderstandings I use the term “socialism” for the system based on state ownership of means of production, a transition from capitalism to communism by Marx, Engels and Lenin. This system by definition requires authoritative (fascist) regime so within this concept you cannot talk about “socialist democracy” not even “social democracy”.
          You and wild kapito and many in this blog look back to pre-Rogernomic New Zealand with nostalgia that is understandable when you compare NZ then and now. I was not here and I am not an economist, what I know is based only on reading and as I understand it the reform in the 80s was about (roughly speaking) changing the Keynesian economic system, capitalist with government interventions, for the so called neo-liberal, capitalist with unleashed free market. There are several questions to be answered: 1. Is it possible to return back in the totally different circumstances especially as for technologies, AI etc.? 2. If yes, will NZ survive in the world market competition? 3. Will New Zealanders trust any government to make the best for them and not to promote the issues in order only to ensure its power? 4. The most importantly: Was the good life based mainly on the economic/political system or on prevalent respected moral values?

          If we like it or not, the basis of the state is the family. When the institution of family is in crisis (as it evidently is), people are losing their moral absolutes, they change their behaviour accordingly and the result is decline and chaos regardless of economic/political system they live in.

          As for the economic/political system I would suggest to fight for more democracy.

          • You trying to tell me Norman Kirk was on the road to being a fascist? L000L!

            Even Rob Muldoon who was quite the dictatorial leader endorsed the bloody welfare state ya plonker. Spare me the musty library books and broad brushed political theory’s. What we had before the treasonous roger douglas was the envy of the world under that system! That’s why so many wanted to emigrate here. Now, – they all want to piss off to Australia where wages are a third higher !

            Honestly, I don’t know where all these characters get their ideas from. Either that or they don’t know recent NZ political history or didn’t live here before 1984.

            • wild kapito, honestly, I am not trying to tell you anything about Norman Kirk, it would be pretty arrogant of me. What I say is that the Marxist concept of socialism with state (it means communist politburo) owning the means of production brings about necessarily the totalitarianism, authoritative regime, no democracy at all. This I experienced and know for sure.

      • Mind you, the social democracy and Keynesian economic system NZ once held before the greed of the neo revolution under roger douglas and the 4th Labour govt DID work! Very well in fact. No family slept in a bloody van or car on a long term basis and people didn’t bed down in alleyways habitually and houses weren’t worth a million dollars unless they were owned by the filthy rich. So which socialism are YOU referring to?

        • WK I think she’s comparing social democracy with communist czechoslovakia (one of the mildest of the eastern europian regimes) for purely ideological reasons to ‘blacken’ social democrats….a kind of rightwing ‘godwin rule’

          • Gagarin (BTW the hero of my childhood), my goal is not to “blacken” social democrats. I consider myself neither rightwing nor leftwing I am for democracy and Marxists’ concept of socialism is de facto the dictatorship of proletariat which even in the mildest form is toxic.

            • yessss I take your point..but social democracy is not socialism, communism, maoism or anything close deliberatly conflating them is a right wing rhetorical device….

              is sweden a communist state?, is norway a communist state? is holland a communisy state, is germany a communist state?

      • “The duty of a citizen was to work and if anyone was caught without a stamp of an employer in the ID, he/she was considered to be a parasite and sent to jail, where everybody guess what? worked.”

        Woo hoo, great idea, at a stroke we could get all the parasitic capitalists behind bars.

        • Great response Richard. I get bored with people telling me they know a self made millionaire, what a joke, money made on the backs of others and expense of others.

  4. That is the 15NZD that they refused to pay out last year when they finally decided to pay the 35 NZD that the welfare reform group demanded in 2019 as an immediate payment to beneficiaries then.
    This fucking government.

  5. Meanwhile. The ‘Rentier’ class managed to gain a $200b increase in their wealth within 18 months. $400b wealthier.

    So, who benefited the most from Grant Robertsons $100b bazooka in 2020?

    Businesses got $53b in Bailouts (Wage Subsidies) and House Speculators got $21b to go on a spending spree and managed to drive up house prices by 25% to 30% across the motu!

    Meanwhile, 25,000 people run up massive debt with WINZ to live in motels that cost $1m a day.

    These clowns need to do us all a favour and resign, now.

  6. The biggest issue of our time is Covid and everything that is resulting from it. And i am not talking about the virus. Everything, absolutely everything, pales in comparison.

      • True.

        I tend to forget that all the governmental measures used to fight the biggest crisis we have ever faced are welcomed and are welcome to be set in stone for life, by some people. Lockdowns, divisive mandates, endless scanning, passports to participate in everyday life. Perfectly fine. Ditto the suppression of freedoms, liberties, rights, protests and free speech under the guise of – keeping us safe. I forget, that for some people, all of these things – keeps them safe and happy.

    • yeh but no matter who gets in we are all still going to lose.

      There isn’t a decent, honest politician in NZ and Nats aren’t that different from Labour when it comes to the crunch. Both are useless for the average person

  7. Well … If reading this Daily Blog offering doesn’t convince readers to NOT VOTE LABOUR next election (if there is one) I don’t know what will!!
    It dismays me no end that so many folk that I speak to are simply ignorant of TRUTHS that shout out to us that “Saint Jacinda” is not an answer to anything!!
    I didn’t vote “for her” & never will (although philosophically I’ve been a socialist life long (in my 80s now).
    How so many NZers don’t see through Jacinda makes me think that too many NZers don’t know the history of our country even to a hundred years ago (or they’re lacking fundamental intelligence!). I’m glad I’m unlikely be here to experience it being repeated!

  8. A funny thing happened to me on my way to the comment box. I was accosted by a logical fallacy.
    Where was I…? Oh yes. Wealth and privilege.
    Why not? People who are wealthy or are privileged are not the enemy. And it’s not their fault. They’re merely busy being wealthy and privileged. The dirty, rotten, filthy, lucky bastards.
    I’m not against wealth and/or privilege. Great things, usually creative brilliance, comes from W and P.
    I’m thinking of the HRH Royal Family as I write. Not that pervy Andy one but the other ones.
    The truly dangerous ones are even more elite than that. They exist within the sanctity of a misty aether enjoyed by other untouchables. Aye boys?
    “According to ancient and medieval science, aether, also known as the fifth element or quintessence, is the material that fills the region of the universe beyond the terrestrial sphere. The concept of aether was used in several theories to explain several natural phenomena, such as the traveling of light and gravity.”

  9. Adult poverty.
    Family poverty.

    And that’s all there is. ‘Child poverty’ is a convenient, broad sweeping and despicable euphemism used by neo liberals to divert attention from the low wage economy first introduced by roger ‘scam’ douglas, carried on by ruth ‘starve the bennies’ richardson and then left in the safe hands of helen U.N clarke and later on endorsed by john ‘tax haven’ key and his finance minister bill ‘dipper’ english and now, – jacinda ‘I feel for you’ Adern. After enriching themselves by selling off our state assets to foreigners and buying shares,…There are no buckets big enough to contain the amount of vomit I could pour all over these treasonous liars.

      • oh thirded and fourthed I am so blessed to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world yet it is blighted by scams and self righteousness, doublespeak, triplespeak, racism etc etc and anyone questioning the protocols getting the special treatment.

  10. I suspect that the real increase in inflation is much higher than declared and that in reality it’s a pay cut. The cut will be felt most by the deprived children.
    Excellent article.

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