3 minutes ago
The welfare state is unsustainable economically, socially and morally.
"The only freedom which counts is the freedom to do what some other people think to be wrong. There is no point in demanding freedom to do that which all will applaud. All the so-called liberties or rights are things which have to be asserted against others who claim that if such things are to be allowed their own rights are infringed or their own liberties threatened. This is always true, even when we speak of the freedom to worship, of the right of free speech or association, or of public assembly. If we are to allow freedoms at all there will constantly be complaints that either the liberty itself or the way in which it is exercised is being abused, and, if it is a genuine freedom, these complaints will often be justified. There is no way of having a free society in which there is not abuse. Abuse is the very hallmark of liberty." - Lord Chief Justice Halisham
Instead of a facile debate over whether a sugar tax would work or not, we should be discussing which we value more – living in a free society where you can eat what you like and burden the state, or whether we value having a healthy, productive society.
Geoff Simmons (Ideology behind the argument against sugar tax, DomPost, April 29) argues against the "freedom of choice" to eat what we like and wants taxes to curb consumption. These taxes will however apply to all consumers, most of whom do not have an over-eating problem. To control the behaviour of a minority, Simmons is completely comfortable with removing the majority's freedom of choice. In fact, he really dislikes freedom of choice, saying it will "clog our hospitals". That's just silly. Poor choice is what leads to obesity and ill-health. A seeming inability to deal with that issue should not lead to further punishment of the majority. Those who would so easily relinquish personal autonomy in favour of state dictates about what and how much should be eaten are frankly, scary.And for good measure here is another from somebody called Amanda Purdy, published today:
Average rents for three-bedroom Otara houses rose from $382 a week in March 2014 to $466 this MarchThe article doesn't record the source so I am assuming it's from Barfoot and Thompson. Here's their March 2015 chart followed by March 2016.
Over the last 12 months, Auckland saw an increase of $28 or 5.8% (for all property types).
Rentals for housing increased 2.3 percent, with Auckland up 3.2 percent and Canterbury up 1.2 percent.
"For anyone who has an interest in this area there is now access to useful data via the Integrated Data Infrastructure - a joint project between various departments - Corrections, Health, CYF, W&I and Stats NZ to map where the children at most risk are in NZ. It is no surprise that the areas with the highest welfare dependency (as per Lindsay Mitchell's analysis above) also show areas with the most at risk children. If anyone is interested in seeing the information that is now available and an interactive map of NZ, go to https://shinyapps.stats.govt.n...
And http://www.treasury.govt.nz/pu... A lot of the work being done by MSD on the overhaul of CYF integrates this information and it is a credit to this Government (in my opinion) that they are looking at the real cost to the State over the lifetime of a child born into a family with the identified risk factors (there are 4 key risk indicators) with the aim of investing in social welfare programmes that will (hopefully) mitigate against the perpetual cycle of welfare dependency, child abuse, crime etc and all the worst outcomes for children. It will be interesting to see how it all manifests in the next iteration of CYF but I sincerely hope it works as there are significant problems for tens of thousands of children in NZ. I think it's our best hope yet from what I have seen. After working in this field for nearly 2 decades I can assure you I've seen nothing from the left of the political spectrum or the CPAGs of this world to really come up with a solution for the real "child poverty" in NZ in all its ugly forms - other than use the term as a political club to try and score political points. I've been to the CPAG annual Budget Breakfast analyses in past years and yearned for a shred of common sense or practical and workable solutions from them and come away disillusioned and angry at their ideological grandstanding."
"When pollsters probe young people further about socialism and capitalism, they tend to find that respondents don't have clear concepts of these economic philosophies. To many millennials, "socialism" doesn't mean a government-managed economy but something like what we have now, only with more subsidized health care, student-loan forgiveness, and mandatory paid parental leave. Millennials were small children, if they were even born yet, when the Soviet Union dissolved. "Socialism" isn't Romania and Yugoslavia but Scandinavia, not Karl Marx and union halls but Bernie Sanders and Twitter."