Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tax and transfer

From the latest Household Incomes Report overview a couple of interesting points.

Pertaining to the lower graph, "The transfers received by the top decile are almost entirely from NZS. The rest is from low-income ‘independent’ adults living in high-income households while (legitimately) receiving a core income-tested benefit such as Sole Parent Support."

Which raises a question for me. Why is it that student eligibility for an allowance is tested against parental income but eligibility for sole parent support is not?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The genesis of the DPB and not naming fathers

The first DPB Emergency benefit was created by a National government in 1968.

The DPB statutory benefit was passed into legislation in 1973, under an incoming Labour government. But it was pushed along by a National MP Lance Adams-Schneider's private member's bill under debate at the time.

That's why I wrote to Leighton Smith today that the DPB was introduced by a National govt.

I should have been clearer. And I should not rely on my memory:-)

Don W picked it up and Leighton didn't have time to read my clarification.

The subject of the DPB was under discussion because of a campaign launched by Auckland Action Against Poverty to have the penalty against sole parents on welfare who refuse to name the father of their child abolished.

If the business of naming the father is genuinely troublesome (the child is the result of rape or incest) Work and Income will not apply the penalty.

However there is also a dodge that goes on which the bureaucracy tries to discourage.

Current law requires the naming of fathers in order to collect Child Support from him. By not naming the father, the mother colludes to help him avoid paying Child Support which, if she is on welfare, is kept by the state to offset the benefit cost. In return the father agrees to pay her a lesser sum than Child Support but higher than the penalty. So both win.

Of course AAAP wouldn't have a problem with this. They are happy for the 'downtrodden' of any hue to rip off the 'neoliberal' welfare system.

Do they comprehend that these sorts of campaigns actually hurt the poor by hardening voter attitudes?

"The 30 million word gap"

According to the NZ Herald,

Some children are starting school without the ability to speak in sentences, sparking a government investigation.

A Nelson school principal, "said busy and tired parents not speaking enough with their kids was a key part of the issue, with many leaving parenting to the TV and electronic devices."
I can accept some element of truth in this but equally, busy people always find time. My children grew up during the video explosion and watched hundreds of movies. But they were also read to daily and talked to constantly.
What I am reminded of was a study I read about some years back.

The results of the study were more severe than the researchers anticipated. Observers found that 86 percent to 98 percent of the words used by each child by the age of three were derived from their parents’ vocabularies. Furthermore, not only were the words they used nearly identical, but also the average number of words utilized, the duration of their conversations, and the speech patterns were all strikingly similar to those of their caregivers.

After establishing these patterns of learning through imitation, the researchers next analyzed the content of each conversation to garner a better understanding of each child’s experience. They found that the sheer number of words heard varied greatly along socio-economic lines. On average, children from families on welfare were provided half as much experience as children from working class families, and less than a third of the experience given to children from high-income families. In other words, children from families on welfare heard about 616 words per hour, while those from working class families heard around 1,251 words per hour, and those from professional families heard roughly 2,153 words per hour. Thus, children being raised in middle to high income class homes had far more language exposure to draw from.

 This amounted to a 30 million word gap by age three.

In addition to looking at the number of words exchanged, the researchers also looked at what was being said within these conversations. What they found was that higher-income families provided their children with far more words of praise compared to children from low-income families. Conversely, children from low-income families were found to endure far more instances of negative reinforcement compared to their peers from higher-income families. Children from families with professional backgrounds experienced a ratio of six encouragements for every discouragement. For children from working-class families this ratio was two encouragements to one discouragement. Finally, children from families on welfare received on average two discouragements for every encouragement. Therefore, children from families on welfare seemed to experience more negative vocabulary than children from professional and working-class families. 

Ironically one of the reasons the DPB was introduced was to allow sole mothers more time with their children. To reduce their stress and enable better parenting.
Today it is known that maternal depression, welfare dependence and low literacy are all associated.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Challenging the 'women as victims' narrative (updated)

Just watched the PM towing the PC line again on TV One News.

In support of my previous post here is further evidence that when it comes to psychological abuse women can dish it out too.

The data above comes from the NZ Crime and Safety Survey 2006. I am a little dubious about the inclusion of people who  said they  ‘don’t wish to answer’as positive though they are described as a"small" number.

Regarding frequency:

 Eighteen percent of men said one or two types of behaviour happened frequently or sometimes; 14 percent of women said the same. Six percent of men said that three or more behaviours happened frequently or sometimes; four percent of women said the same.

Post script

Acknowledging what the PM said yesterday according to today's NZ Herald. Good.
 "A good father, a good stepfather and a good man does not hit, intimidate or control his spouse, partner, ex-partner or her children. The same goes for women who are abusers."

Family Violence consultation paper bias

Today announcements will be made about how police and justice handle family violence. Belatedly I took a look at the consultation document.

There are 4 case studies. Below I have given you just the first paragraph of each:


Protection orders – Accessibility
Lisa has been living with her partner Todd for over a year. Lisa is becoming increasingly scared by Todd’s behaviour towards her. He has a temper and is quick to yell and curse at Lisa, and has threatened to hurt her.


Safety and parenting arrangements for children
After months of criticising and threatening to hurt her, Olivia’s husband Nathan
grabs her throat and tries to strangle her. The next day, while Nathan is out visiting friends, she leaves with their two sons and moves in with her parents.She applies for and is granted a protection order, which prevents Nathan from having any contact with her.


Prosecuting psychological violence
Yuki and Sefu have been together for six years. Yuki is a fulltime mum to their eighteen-month-old daughter Violet. Sefu is outgoing, charming and has many friends. Within a few months of moving in together he begins to criticise Yuki and lose his temper with her. He accuses her of lying to him about where she is going and who she is with. He often puts her down in public.


Information sharing
One of Dr Evan’s patients, Mark, seems agitated. When Dr Evan asks Mark what’s wrong, he says his partner Miriama ‘needs to be taught a lesson’ for going out to a movie with her friends. Dr Evan is worried about what Mark is thinking of doing. She knows that under the Privacy Act she can disclose
personal information if she thinks it’s necessary to prevent a serious threat to someone’s life or health. But she’s not sure whether Mark’s comment on its own is serious enough, and she doesn’t want to lose Mark’s trust. In the end she decides it’s better not to tell anyone.

My interest in this matter was piqued by the Prime Minister on TV this morning talking about stopping violence against women and children.

Sure enough, in the consultation document in the section that describes family violence as it relates to the genders, 'women' are put with 'children', and 'men' are on their own.

An increasing number of countries have developed strategies specifically aimed at reducing violence against women and children. The strategies typically include measures to address a range of forms of violence against women and children, including intimate partner violence and sexual violence. They emphasise the need for responses to recognise the gendered nature of these forms of violence and the influence of social attitudes about the status of women on the incidence and nature of violence.

There is no acknowledgement that women also abuse children.

I have worked with men who were awarded the custody of their children because of abusive partners. I accept they form a minority. But for the purposes of this exercise, they may as well be invisible.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Auckland Action Against Poverty

Housing New Zealand are evicting a woman who, "...admitted she had been selling up to 60 tinnies daily, with a value of $1200 a day."

"It is Housing New Zealand's job to house people; it is the courts' job to determine guilt or innocence and determine necessary punishment," says Auckland Action Against Poverty's Alastair Russell.

Auckland Action Against Poverty (Sue Bradford's group) needs to get its focus sorted. This woman is not 'in poverty' selling up to $1200 worth of tinnies a day

AAAP  should not be defending people who undermine the very system they claim is so crucial. They should be using the tenant as an example of why people in actual ' poverty'  are 'homeless'.

Obviously the whole welfare state lost its moral compass years ago aided and abetted by socialist advocates.