Saturday, October 17, 2015

Paying out benefit-liability $ to Tuhoe

MSD has released a commissioned report about decentralising welfare to Tuhoe.

Tūhoe is a relatively young population with high levels of unemployment, welfare dependency and low incomes....
In 2011 the Crown entered into a relationship agreement with Tūhoe in which it acknowledged the mana motuhake of Tūhoe and its aspirations to self-govern. Tūhoe have their  aspirations to become independent of the Government, generate its own revenue and become self-sustaining. MSD has asked whether or not it is feasible to transfer a portion of the Crown’s liability to Tūhoe. 

 In plain English can benefits be paid forward in a lump sum to enable Tuhoe to establish employment initiatives and their own social services?

Tuhoe has high forward liability:

29 per cent of Tūhoe received a benefit payment (unemployment, sickness, invalid, or
domestic purposes) as a source of income at some time in the 12 months prior to the 2013 Census, compared to 24 percent of the Maori population, and 10 per cent of the total 

The above shows benefit receipt for the general population (col 1), then Maori, then Tuhoe.

That's snapshot data. Because young parenting and youth unemployment are high, the length of time spent on benefits is greater.

The research considers international attempts at self governance and suggests:

Experience shows that a goal of profitable business ventures is the most effective way to
increase employment opportunities in the long-run. 

It considers some NZ initiatives and describes them a s a "mixed bag". However the "risks" are less than the "lost opportunity".

The rest is essentially suggested scenarios for transferring the "liability" (cash resource) to Tuhoe.

Apparently MSD are in the process of assessing the actuarial liability of Tuhoe.

What does Tuhoe want to do with the funds?

With the return of Te Urewera together with Tūhoe current land interest brings land value in excess of 300,000 acres. Tūhoe have identified they are capable of developing a range of industries that will create employment opportunities and thereby reduce welfare
dependencies. The industries they have identified as possible within their rohe include the following:
• Pharmaceuticals
• Science and research
• Eco-tourism
• Food and technology
• Horticulture
• Agriculture
• Biodiversity
• Culture & Heritage.

Tūhoe have also identified a number of social sector initiatives such as:
• Development of charter schools that embrace tribal tikanga, set up in the rohe with
consolidated governance arrangements.
• Health centres in each of the four Tūhoe settlements that meet the needs of the rohe’s
population including mental health and addiction.

It's a reasonably lengthy document so take my speed-read summary on trust.

But I am left with questions. If it happened for Tuhoe, wouldn't it conceivably have to happen for any other tribe, group, or even individual, with a (expected)  forward liability?

And I wonder what Savage would have made of the evolution of  social security? I don't imagine his vision of providing income security to the poorest, most disadvantaged in the here and now extended to calculating forward lifetimes of income dependency to be paid in advance.

Then again the dependency is real and if Tuhoe can do a better job of reducing it than the state, why not?

And a pointless, after the fact final question. Wouldn't it have been better if the dependency hadn't been enabled in the first place?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Latest benefit numbers: continuing downward trend but.....

The general gradual downward trend, continues.

Over the year ending September 30, 2015, MSD says, "...the proportion of the working-age population in New Zealand receiving a main benefit fell slightly (from 10.7% to 10.2%)."

But here's the worrying statistic.

In the last quarter, while 43,369 people came off a benefit, 46,374 went on one. A net gain. Not such good news. In the Sept quarter last year 47,447 left; 47,566 arrived. So this year's net gain, over the same period, was significantly higher.

Now that cancellation data is being provided, I also note that the numbers leaving a benefit to go to prison are trending upwards. Interesting.

(Left click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On ACT and other matters

There was little chance of my voting elsewhere but David Seymour has guaranteed my tick for ACT in 2017 by lodging a new voluntary euthanasia bill. It's a huge task (if drawn) to front foot such a controversial issue as a single MP. What will stand him in good stead is the weight of opinion is now firmly on his side.

"Not working on it full-time" but you wouldn't need to be at $2000 a day. I'd have thought Rebstock negotiated a rate that is "twice the usual"? Is she worth it? I can't answer positively when another CYF  overhaul isn't the answer.

Should it be a crime to have your baby sleeping with you? It's not necessarily best practice if you are overweight and inebriated, but my second child constantly slept by my side. It was the only way any of us was going to get some rest. I fear charging a mother with "criminal nuisance" after a SUD death, with a possible jail term of one year, is a step too far. When will police begin checking bedrooms?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Carmel clutching at straws again

Here's Carmel Sepuloni clutching at straws again.

She is reported in today's DomPost:

Fewer people coming off a benefit and moving into work shows a "stalling economy" and a "failing Government", says Labour.

But the Government says Labour had gotten its maths wrong on figures the party obtained.

While the real numbers of beneficiaries moving into work had decreased, the overall percentage of people going into work had actually gone up, as the total pool of beneficiaries decreased, said Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.

At the end of March 2015, 284,260 working age people were receiving a main benefit.  That was down from 295,000 people in June 2014, according to the Ministry website.

"At the same time the New Zealand Income Survey shows an extra 27,500 people were receiving government transfers - primarily benefits and superannuation - as their main source of income compared to 12 months ago.

"Crucially, there was a 38.85 per cent increase in the number of people aged between 50 and 59 years on these transfers between 2014 and 2015," Sepuloni said.

The definition for 'government transfers' is

Government transfers: income from benefits, working for families tax credits, paid parental leave, student allowances, ACC payments, New Zealand Superannuation, and veteran's and war pensions.

At June 2015  1,193,800 people received income from government transfers.
At June 2014  1,166,300 people received income from government transfers.

There's the 27,500 increase she cites.

The increase relates almost entirely to people receiving Super (which is irrelevant to the working age arguments.)

In fact she could have checked exactly how many by consulting the Benefit data tables at MSD

The number of people receiving Super or a veteran's pension rose by 25,983 between June 2014 and June 2015.

The number receiving income from government transfers aged 50-59 rose from 32,600 to 40,500 or 24% not "38.85 percent". Some of this rise will be attributable to younger partners of newly qualified Super recipients becoming dependent on government transfers.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Christianity perverted

A Reverend has this to say about a landlord who is complaining about tenants taking advantage:

"He can afford for them to take advantage of him."

Is this the message of Christianity? If so, I'll stick with atheism.

People who "take advantage" of other people's generosity (in this landlord's case, child minding and rubbish removal) should be dumped or dumped on. It has nothing to do with power balance or material inequity.

A poor person can afford to be as fair as a rich person. Transactions between people, no matter what is involved, that aren't mutually satisfactory, will be very short-lived. Many people of means are generous. They enjoy being able to help. Often they want nothing in return. Their reward is the act of relieving a problem for someone else.

BUT it doesn't follow that when their generosity is abused they should turn the other cheek.

This reverend's attitude is at the heart of socialism and is essentially what makes socialism untenable. Values are not shared. Different rules apply to different people by dint of their economic status.

There is no excuse for abusing goodwill ever. Rich, poor or otherwise.