Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition will be a different kettle of fish from the last Labour govt

This Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition will be a different kettle of fish from the last Labour government. If you doubt that, here's a perfect example.

Just heard on Radio NZ, Ardern talking about excessive sanctions in the welfare system like the penalty for not naming the father of a child. James Shaw then chimes in backing this concern.

When Steve Maharey was Minister for Social Development he too was concerned about mothers not naming the fathers of the children - a growing trend. So he increased the existing penalty against opposition from the Greens.

Most moderate New Zealanders back a welfare system that helps people in genuine need. I accept that. But they balk against  being forced to be financial fathers to children whose biological fathers  fly the coup.

HOWEVER, here is what NZ First MP Bill Gudgeon said in the debate relating to raising the penalty in 2005:

"The Social Security (Social Assistance) Amendment Bill goes part of the way to try to rectify this problem. An increase from 5.6 percent in 1993 to 16 percent in 2004, indicates an increase in the number of liable parents who are failing to meet their responsibilities. One result is that it makes it financially harder for the custodial parent to move off the benefit, as that parent would not receive child support. The crux of the matter in sole parenting is how the children receive physical and spiritual support. Is the benefit sufficient? Will the sole parent become independent of the State? Many in today’s society would consider these questions to be quaint and old-fashioned, yet I say that we should look at where we have been, where we are, and where we are heading.

The bill increases the rate of reduction in the benefit, and does so as an incentive for sole parents to carry out certain actions so that the other parent contributes financially to the upbringing of the child. Currently, under section 70A of the Social Security Act the rate of benefit paid to the sole parent is reduced by $22 per week for each dependent child where that parent fails or refuses to identify the other parent in law, to make an application for child support, or to attend a hearing and give evidence at proceedings brought under the Child Support Act. By July 2005 additional increases in the rate of reduction will be imposed, but this decision will be reconsidered should the beneficiary meet the section 70A requirements.

Let us look at the responsibilities that we have as parliamentarians, because within the four walls of this Chamber we have the power to pass laws. But what about the citizens of this country? New Zealand First is not judgmental of people who find themselves in this situation, but it is the responsibility of Parliament to help them to become independent of the State. It is our responsibility to ensure financial support is given to the sole parent from the other partner, who, in many cases, is the father. On too many occasions we sit here and debate with each other, and among parties, about who did this and who did that, but our prime responsibility as parliamentarians is to govern so that freedom prevails and assistance is given to people in need.

This legislation will be very difficult to implement, but New Zealand First supports it."

So what will Winston do in 2018? Without NZ First support, Labour and Greens are stymied. What price is NZ First prepared to pay for power?


Anonymous said...

Sigh. Bring on 2020, when National will be back in govt, hopefully, and be able to undo the damage this will cause. So depressing, the next three years is going to be long.

Anonymous said...

I suspect most people assume that Winston cares as much as his rhetoric indicates but that may see them mistaken. On that basis its too soon to speculate who will really run things. Someone like Clark assisting from the wings may paper over some of Jacinda's cracks - in the short term at least.


Spam said...

And sure enough, from a link I saw on your blog-roll, we get this today from Jan Logie.