The social carnage our brutal monopolies can wage against the poor thanks to our under regulated capitalism is far larger than we have previously suspected…
Opponents of wealth taxes and housing and energy market reforms often complain those reforms would be too expensive for taxpayers, but not reducing our worst-in-the-world housing and energy costs is already costing taxpayers over $6.6 billion a year.
Solving the failures in our housing and electricity markets would reduce the taxpayer burden by that much, let alone unleashing massive improvements in public health, productivity and real wages.
A new official report quietly buried by the Labour Government in its final months in power identifies over 300,000 people are now living in housing and energy poverty so severe that they are unable to afford the power needed to stay warm in winter, have warm showers or cook their own food. Figures on the number of families who turn off their own power because they can’t afford to pre-pay aren’t even collected.
The report documented people who lived in homes without power because of bad credit records or their pre-pay plans had run out of money, forcing them and their children to sleep in cold, mouldy homes and cook food on fires outside.
This housing and energy poverty leads to thousands of unnecessary hospitalisations and hundreds of deaths from chest and skin infections, costing $1.14 billion each year in extra public health costs. That’s on top of income-related rent subsidies, accommodation supplements, First Home Buyers grants, progressive home ownership grants, emergency housing costs and winter energy payments totalling $5.5 billion per year.
The report recommends any new Government reform the electricity market to focus on improving affordability, rather than gentailer profits and dividends, along with monitoring disconnections from pre-pay power and forcing retailers to abide by a consumer care code, which is currently voluntary, along with increasing funding for insulating and retrofitting homes and appliances.
…the sheer scale of misery our system generates for the poorest amongst us should be a nationwide shame, but then again, so should the 600000 who need food banks each month, the 24 717 on the social housing wait list, the million spent per day spent kettling beneficiaries into unsafe Motels, the hundreds of thousands living in poverty, our suicide rte, the hundreds of thousands of domestic violence incidents that are eclipsed by ram raids.
Each should be a national shame, yet the idea of over 300000 unable to use electricity and being forced to cook on open fires is shocking in a supposed first world country.
The cost of refusing to fix the under regulated capitalism that underpins property speculation is $6.6Billion per year, this is a rigged casino economy ruled by Real Estate Pimps who are mercilessly abusing their political power to generate legislation that empowers them while robbing renters.
There is a naked class war erupting in NZ and we don’t have the political vocabulary to express that dimension because the woke middle class activists have stolen all the oxygen in the room with their identity politics virtue signalling.
Meanwhile the assault on the poorest and the most vulnerable begins at pace.
Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.
If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.