Saturday, December 09, 2017

Update on sole parent economic situation

An interesting graph from the Briefing to Incoming Social Development Minister:

After the In Work tax credit came in the gap between being on a benefit and working for the minimum wage opened up.

This has undoubtedly contributed to the fall in the number of benefit-dependent sole parents. But anti-child poverty activists want the in work tax credit paid to all beneficiaries. This will be a sticky issue for the new government. Their families package (especially the payment for babies aged 0-2) will effectively close the gap anyway.

Another interesting fact from the Briefing. Maori represent 15% of the population but "48 percent of Sole Parent Support recipients."

Here's a table from my own 2008 paper, Maori and Welfare:

It would appear the employment status of Maori sole parents is not improving as quickly as the general population.

A question remains that I have not had time to properly research. While the number of sole parent support recipients continues to drop...

... it must be remembered that many are now moved onto jobseeker support as their youngest child reaches 14. There may also be some migration onto the supported living benefit positively affecting the drop. The Briefing stresses that "The proportion of clients with mental health conditions has been growing substantially over time."

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Reckless changes to benefit system will hurt children

Myself and Muriel Newman explain how in this week's NZCPR lead articles.

The first part of my piece, which concerns the removal of the requirement to name the father of a child supported by a benefit,  has mostly been stated already at this site but the second was something I had been intending to blog about but hadn't:

"But wait – there’s more.

This is just one of the changes this far-Left government intends to make. They also want to scrap other sanctions (benefit cuts) such as those imposed for failing a drugs test or for failing to keep Work and Income appointments. It won’t surprise if they also scrap sanctions that motivated young parents to attend parenting and budgeting courses, and enrol their child with a local GP.

Many of the sanctions loathed by the Left merely imitate the obligations that the paid workforce experience. Now taxpayers will be expected to meet obligations beneficiaries don’t have to and pay for the beneficiary’s ‘privilege’.

This topsy-turvy ‘world view’ was recently exemplified when Catriona McLennan, a well-meaning lawyer and advocate for the Child Poverty Action Group was heard extolling the generosity and kindness of Micky Savage’s original benefit system, and how New Zealand needs to return to that inclusiveness.

What a shock it would be for a young single mother of today to find, under the 1938 social security provisions, nobody was interested in whether she named the father of their child or not: because there was no benefit for single mothers. At best, a deserted wife could apply for a Widow’s Benefit but eligibility rested on her having been married and having sought financial support from the father through the courts.

It’s almost laughable when today’s beneficiary advocates complain about National’s ‘harshness’.

They are out of touch with reality. But they plan to drive policy made by a government with the same problem."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Life on a benefit drives to crime

A man was let off a charge of stealing around $180 worth of groceries because he said that life on a benefit is hard.

This poses a number of questions for me.

Why has this petty crime made headlines?

Is there still a moral discomfit about beneficiaries biting the hand that feeds?

Would someone on the minimum wage who claimed financial difficulty be let off?

If life on a benefit is hard, isn't  the better reaction to try and get off it?

Will this dismissal of a crime encourage more people to put up a defence of "life on a benefit is hard"?

Why didn't the offender go to a foodbank?

Monday, November 27, 2017

National makes a valid objection, but timidly

The student allowance - which was paid at the same rate as the unemployment benefit - is about to increase by $50 per week.

There is a suggestion from National that, along with the first year free tertiary education, an incentive will present for some to swap 'benefits' without a genuine motivation to study. Well, I dressed that up nicely, as did the spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

He was being interviewed by a disbelieving Guyon Espiner who said this was a most cynical view.

If it had been me I'd have conceded the point, but maintained that we are dealing with Labour's idealistic and naive view. The truth lies somewhere in  between.

In the past data showed that when the invalid benefit was paid at a higher rate than the sickness benefit there was definite migration to the former.

Mr Goldsmith might also have talked about the pressure that his government had put on work-capable people to find jobs. A year's break from that, along with a $2,600 bonus might be very appealing.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Another angle

Here's a letter that appeared in today's Dompost. I am unable to find the piece it responds to. Odd. But it does highlight another unintended consequence that removing sanctions for not naming fathers will bring:

Friday, November 17, 2017

There's a surprise

Encouraging more adoption?

I doubt this guy is a good fit for a feminist government.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The ghost of Metiria and more lies

She may as well have stayed. In addition to scrapping the legal requirement to name fathers or face a penalty...

As part of a major welfare system overhaul agreed with the Greens, the government would remove other excessive sanctions and ensure people could access what they were entitled to.

And here is Carmel Sepuloni propagating more lies. Lies are OK on the Left.  And when the media reporting are also Left, they enable them.

 Ms Sepuloni said some parents had good reason for not naming the other parent.
"The most common reason for not naming the parent was often family-violence related and so, keeping that mind, it's almost like you're doubly punishing these women and their children. So, we're not going to allow that to continue."
Here is what the Work and Income manual says:

 Your benefit payments may be reduced if you don’t legally identify the other parent or apply for Child Support. In some situations you may not need to do this, for example if you or your child would be at risk of violence. Work and Income can tell you more about this.

There is already an exception to the rule for cases of violence.

So what is the real reason for the change? It's the imposition of  radical feminism whereby women's rights are elevated above children's....with the added bonus of screwing the taxpayer.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Can't disagree with any of this

Arrived in my inbox. I didn't steal it.

From The NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW October 27th 2017

The Limits of Cleverness versus Capitalism

Hidesight  -  Rodney Hide

I have concluded our new prime minister Jacinda Ardern is clever stupid.
She's quick, has good analytical skills and communicates well. There's no doubt she's clever.
    But she's stupid on how the world works and lacks thought-through principles and values. She bobs along on feelings and sounding good and thereby perfectly in tune with a media that emotes rather than reports and analyses.
    By her own account she grew up Mormon but jumped to socialism, becoming president of the International Union of Socialist Youth. She substituted one whacky religion for another. Her work experience is university and Parliament, first as a Labour Party staffer, then as an MP.
    She's driven by belief, not understanding. She can't argue ideas and must dismiss her opponents as uncaring or not yet enlightened. The shortcoming in opposing ideas is not the ideas themselves but the moral deficiency of those expressing them.
    When asked if capitalism had failed low-income New Zealanders, the prime minister-designate said: "If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that's a blatant failure. What else could could you describe it as?"
    "Hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive." That  means "hundreds of thousands of children" dying because of material want. It's nonsense. There would be UN relief missions and international popstars having concerts to aid New Zealand were her claim true.
It isn't.
    It's part of the media-manufactured Jacindamania that such rubbish claims are passed over. She cares, that's enough. It's as if her nonsensical hyperbole underscores the extent of her caring. "Yes, she might have been out by a few hundred children, and yes, they're not exactly not surviving, but her heart is in the right place."
    The problem of poor and neglected children is not the fault of capitalism but of welfarism.  Generations of handouts have robbed too many of any sense of personal responsibility even for the  care and upbringing of their own children.
     It's perfectly respectable now not to provide for yourself, nor house your family, nor commit in any way to your partner in child-making and to have children without the ability to provide or care  or them.
    It's not your fault. You're a victim. Capitalism has failed.
    Ms Ardern's blinkered, if not blind, view of the world sees her advocating more of the policies causing the very problems concerning her rather than treating the cause.
    No facts, no analysis, no experience would shift her view. Her socialism is her religion.
    I'm a white, privileged male. I would say all of the above, wouldn't I ? I'm threatened by a female in charge and fear that my greedy exploitation of the poor is at an end. There, I dismissed my argument myself to save her supporters the effort.