Thursday, September 08, 2011

Accurate headline

Good to see the MSM getting the headlines right for a change, instead of parrotting what the Minister chooses to highlight:

Dole numbers drop, welfare increases

Yesterday all I heard about in various news bulletins was how the number of people unemployed had dropped.

It is arguably worse when the other benefits rise because the people that go on those tend to stay on welfare much longer. So behind the 'good news story' was a 'worse news story'. Typically recessions cause a lagging rise in totals on benefits other than the dole. Totals which do not fall again.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Left-wing feminists are illogical

You have to laugh over the incongruity and inconsistencies of left-wing feminists.

Here is a diehard example, ex-Alliance MP, Liz Gordon, now "Annoyed campaigner for more women MPs" demanding more women in the ranks of National.

John Key was all over the radio this morning saying that he wanted more women MPs. He could not have wanted them enough, in my view. It has always appeared to me that what John wants, John gets. His wanting is therefore a cop-out – he should have demanded more women on the National list.

But surely a National politician is a National politician period. Why is a National woman preferable to a National man? When you hate the right, why go to bat for any of them?

Liz Gordon won't be shedding any tears over the fact that I am not standing. If she was a logical person she should be.

Monday, September 05, 2011

CPAG: back in court right on cue

In 2008 the Child Poverty Action Group took a case to the Human Rights Tribunal. They want the In Work Tax Credit paid to parents who are Not In Work. The Tribunal found against them.

Now they have taken that decision to the High Court. Anyone got any idea who would be funding that? Excuse my ignorance about legalistic matters but could the group be receiving legal aid to appeal?

The Crown is also appealing the Tribunal's finding so no question who is funding that. Is the taxpayer funding both parties to slug this thing out?

I have noted in the past that politically this case has an added dimension. National obviously support the right of the government to design a benefit system that encourages and incentivises people into work. In the past however the Maori Party has backed the CPAG. With 40 percent of Maori females aged 20-30 on a benefit (mainly the DPB) an extra $60 per child would represent a large increase in Maori income generally. At the same time it would intensify the problem of dependence.

And it is surely more than coincidence that both of the cases occurred near to elections. The Greens back the CPAG but will Labour be forced to take a new position? That'll be fascinating as the In Work Tax Credit was their 'baby' so to speak.

Case begins today.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Duplicate figures puzzling

Back in March 2009, under the OIA, MSD supplied the following information:

On a sickness or invalids benefit with a primary incapacity of substance abuse, at end December 2008:

Sickness 4,190
Invalid 1,648

I recently asked the same question to track any trend and received the following table:

Two and a half years later I find it remarkable that the total for those on the invalid's benefit is exactly the same and for those on the sickness benefit only 17 more. (No, MSD didn't just send me the same table twice).

Multiple factors would lead to an expectation of increased numbers. More work-place drug testing, more unemployment, apparently greater alcohol abuse among young people are three. I know there are at least two GPs who read this blog who might like to comment.

One would almost suspect a quota.