Friday, July 25, 2014

70,000 pay $16.77 weekly in child support

The number of liable parents paying the minimum amount of child support - currently $16.77 weekly - has risen from 59,536 at April, 2009 to 69,968 at December, 2013. An 18 percent increase.

Minimum payers make up about 52 percent of all liable parents. In 2009 the percentage was forty six.

One of the Left's poverty solutions is to transfer the child support payment directly to the custodial parent rather than the IRD retaining it to partially offset the benefit bill. They want the taxpayer to shoulder more of the cost of raising financially-orphaned children. Assuming that most of the custodial parents with liable parents paying the minimum amount are on a benefit, their incomes wouldn't  rise very much.

And for those whose ex's are in prison, perhaps the most needy, they wouldn't get any extra. During 2013, 786 prisoners were exempted from paying child support.

The left writhes over collective responsibility for unacceptable child poverty, while 7 percent of all children have a biological parent paying less than the price of a packet of cigarettes for their weekly upkeep.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Millennial values

From a US survey of 2,000 American adults under 30.

Millennials distrust political parties and are largely socially liberal but fiscally centrist, according to the latest Reason-Rupe survey. The survey gathered responses from 2,000 adults ages 18 to 29 between late February and mid-March 2014, finding that today's young Americans are largely unaligned with traditional political parties:
  • While young adults have supported Democrat political candidates since 2004, one-third of millennials identify themselves as independents -- three times the number of Americans over the age of 30 who do so.
  • Twenty-eight percent of millennials trust neither major party to handle the nation's issues. Fifty percent do not trust either party to handle privacy.
The survey also indicated that young American adults believe in personal responsibility and other free-market values. When asked to explain success, respondents listed hard work, ambition and self-discipline as the top three explanations for wealth. The most common explanations for poverty were poor life choices, lack of job opportunities and lack of work ethic.

Would love to see how a NZ survey compared.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Poverty 100 years ago

The Otago Daily Times has a piece written 100 years ago.

Note the difference in tenor:

It is well that cases of pitiable poverty and want, such as one which came under the notice of a Christchurch Star representative on Wednesday morning, are rare, extremely rare.
In a small cottage in Milne Street, Spreydon, live a woman and her three children, whose ages range from two to six years. The house has four rooms, but the family occupy only two of them. Three old chairs, a tiny table, and a few pictures on the wall comprise the furniture of the kitchen, while two small stretchers are the sole contents of the bedroom. The woman and the three children were neatly but poorly dressed, and it was evident that they were having a hard struggle to make ends meet.
In the course of a conversation, the woman said that her husband was at present in a mental hospital at Porirua, Wellington, and that there was very little chance that he would ever be discharged. During the late strike, when her husband was out of work, she went out washing, and had kept herself, her husband, and five children, the two oldest of whom were now in the charge of her sister in Wellington. It was now 11 weeks since her husband had been sent to Porirua, and ever since then she had been the sole support of herself and the three children.
She earned 12s a week, and 7s went in rent, so that the family had practically been living on 5s a week for two months. Two days in the week the woman goes out washing, two days she takes in washing, and for the rest of the week she is unemployed. She has now applied for charitable aid, and is also making application for a widow's pension. The neighbours have been very kind, and but for their help she would not have been able to live.
Two of the children have been moved where they can be supported by family, and her neighbours are making it possible for her to get by.

Imagine today's coverage of the same situation. The Greens would be hopping mad that the woman wasn't getting state support. They would be laying victim hood all over the unfortunate mother and bemoaning that neighbours had to put a hand in their own pocket to help her get by. The woman is being stigmatised through no fault of her own, they would say.

When in fact her plight had appealed to people's compassionate instincts.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Poll puzzle

The NZ Herald headline says, "Labour slumps to 15 year low".
Labour's support has slumped to its worst rating for 15 years in the latest DigiPoll survey, putting critical pressure on leader David Cunliffe.
But over on Whale Oil Richard McGrath has pointed out Labour won the 1999 election.

The historical polls are available at DigiPoll

This is the 1999 pre-election poll.

Does that mean 2 months out from the 1999 election, Labour was polling in the mid 20s and managed to turn that into 40% by polling day?

Adding to the puzzle I found this

Labour Surge, Alliance Slump in Latest Poll

Today’s Herald DigiPoll shows Labour surging further ahead to 43.8 per cent, up seven points from National on 35.7 per cent.

Just over two months out, Labour was on 43.8 percent.

So if it had been polling much lower earlier in the year, it didn't turn it around within two months of the election - where we are now.

Ah I see the problem now. I am interpreting the headline wrongly.

If instead of "Labour slumps to 15 year low" it was "Employment slumps to 15 year low," I would expect to go back to 1999 and see employment at the same rate as when the headline was written. Employment statistics of course go back much further. The Herald DigiPoll does not.