Thursday, March 17, 2016

How National is killing Labour

It is still odd to me to read questions and answers that would have sat very comfortably with the last Labour govt. Just substitute Anne Tolley with Steve Maharey and you get my drift:

9. MATT DOOCEY (National—Waimakariri) to the Minister for Social Development: How is low inflation supporting a real increase in superannuation?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister for Social Development): Thanks to the strong financial management of this Government, superannuation has increased by over 34 percent since 2008, which is double the rate of inflation of 15.5 percent in that same time. As this Government has committed to keeping superannuation and veterans pension rates at 66 percent of average income, both rates will increase by 2.73 percent on 1 April. This means that, in addition to lower living costs, our superannuitants are better off, with an extra $15.74 a week for a married couple, $10.23 a week for a single person living alone, and $9.44 for a single person sharing accommodation.
Matt Doocey: In addition to superannuation, what other supports are set to increase on 1 April?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: On 1 April changes introduced as part of the child hardship package will come into effect. That means benefit rates for families with children will rise by $25 a week after tax—the first real increase in 43 years. Given the falling cost of living, this is a significant increase for these families on a benefit. Working for Families rates will also increase by $12.50 for low-income working families, and $24.50 for very low-income working families. The child hardship package reaches over half a million children and will help ease the depth of hardship experienced by families in New Zealand’s lowest-income households.

It's super politics when staying in government is the top priority. But is it fiscally responsible? Is it going to help low income people in the long-term?

Reducing the gap between income from work and income from welfare is very risky. National of the early 1990s did the very opposite to National of 2016. It increased the gap in an explicit effort to get more people working.

Both Labour and National agree that work is the best way out of poverty. I have records of both Helen Clark and John Key making this assertion.

The real problem is, neither have acted like they believe it.

Add too that the John Key-led government  is now fully embracing and boosting what he once called "communism by stealth".

Labour have been utterly out-Laboured.

David Seymour then inserted a supplementary:

David Seymour: How long after the current Prime Minister’s retirement will the Government raise the age of entitlement to New Zealand superannuation?
Mr SPEAKER: No. Oh, I will let the Minister address it. It is a marginal question, I have to accept.
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: That is so far in the future I could not even contemplate it.

So again we have a National government not only bragging about increasing Super payments but promising an increase in recipients by way of the ageing population with no change to qualifying age.

They can hold their National voters so long as the pretence that nobody has to pay for it lasts.

But they can't continue to ramp-up redistribution without increasing revenue or cutting services.


Anonymous said...

But is it fiscally responsible?

Of course not. The whole idea of "super" aka the codger-dole is completely irresponsible and has been from day 1.

Is it going to help low income people in the long-term?

who cares?

When Goff was leader (and he lost by only 20,000 votes to Key in Christchurch) Labour's policy mix was far more fiscally responsible than National's, including raising the age of super.

Anonymous said...

'The real problem is, neither have acted like they believe it.'


I remain surprised that many people perceive a difference between National and Labour in substance (as opposed to slogans). National have occupied Labour's spot on the embankment, spread a large rug with an attractive picnic basket including Socialist Chardonnay (a bitter sweet tipple with a very sour aftertaste) leaving labour nowhere to sit within its usual boundaries. In seeking to be different Labour have to go further left and say especially foolish things and propose stupid legislation that no-one with any sense believes will help solve anything. National have betrayed their roots in pretending to be center right while endorsing Fabian Socialism and that, in my view, is a worse crime because its a betrayal.


Anonymous said...

Why is why the only way NZ can ever make progress will be to get rid of MMP, the universal franchise, and have tax rates and budgets set by a fiscal council rather than parliament.