Tuesday, May 29, 2018

More fact checking on Cindy Kiro

Yesterday Cindy Kiro was interviewed by Chris Lynch, NewstalkZB, Christchurch. I blogged about two statements which were false. Here's another:

"...New Zealand was the first country in the world in the 1930s to have the Social Security Act."

Not true. The US 1935 Social Security Act preceded NZ by 3 years.

And of course the Germans were well ahead of very other country. It was Germany that introduced the first old age pension - not NZ.

Back to Kiro.

"We need to go back to some of the roots ...it was called 'security' because it gave people, families in particular, some security in times of massive uncertainty."

Not all families, and certainly not without conditions and obligations.

For instance:
While the 1938 act did not explicitly discriminate against Māori, the provision for the payment of benefits at a lower rate ‘if the maximum benefit is not necessary for the maintenance of the beneficiary’ allowed officials to pay Māori less than Pākehā. While communal living was often cited as a reason for reduction of Māori benefits, MP Eruera Tirikātene told the minister of social security in 1940 that Europeans living at the Rātana pā got the full benefit, while Māori residents had a reduced benefit.
Additionally, and this would be antithetical to the current panelists, in respect of the 1938 act:
"Moral qualifications have been retained in the  liberalized provisions taken over from earlier legislation." 
Moral qualifications? With respect to eligibility to the invalid benefit:
"...the disability must have been acquired during residence in New Zealand and must not be self-induced."
The only benefit available for mothers without partners was contingent on them being legally 'married' and unable to obtain maintenance through the courts. Family allowances were also only payable in respect of married parents.

With regard to the unemployment benefit:
"...the Commission may postpone the commencement of an unemployment benefit
for as long as 6 weeks or even terminate it altogether if the applicant lost his job through misconduct, left voluntarily without good reason, or failed to accept an offer of suitable employment."
I don't think these are the roots that Kiro wants to return to. In fact I doubt she has any idea about the act or she'd stop idealizing it.

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