Thursday, January 31, 2019

Who should qualify for Super?

(Left-click to enlarge)

Sean Plunket ran a show attacking Super receipt today; those taking it while continuing to work, and any taking it when they don't need it. He personalised his attack using morning host Peter Williams, newly qualified.

He justified his argument through concern about inter-generational inequity. The baby boomers are stealing from the following generations.

I rang to make the point that in the 1990s some were making the same accusations about the generation born in the 1920s through 40s. David Thomson wrote a book called the Selfish Generations to this effect. These inter-generational inequities are probably swings and roundabouts.

Regarding Super, my view is that the qualifying age needs to go up to 67-68 with those physically incapable going on a Supported Living Payment. Anyone who is receiving Super and working is effectively paying for it themselves through their own tax. It's like WFF for the over 65s.

Some means-testing sounds good but it opens a can of worms just not worth opening.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hawke's Bay headed for a 'labour shortage declaration'

What else would you take from today's release?

This is no more than an advance move to ward off criticism about the number of beneficiaries in the East Coast region where there are currently over 7,600 claiming an Unemployment Benefit (aka Jobseeker Support)

From memory, this is the third region to do so.

Historically Maori and Pakeha men moved around in search of work. At a guess, that work paid reasonably well because employers weren't having to meet the high levels of taxation required to meet social security. Maori may have been paid less because of communal living perceptions - and that was wrong.

But was it a model worse than today's?

Wealth redistributed voluntarily and constructively?

Individuals with a sense of worth, camaraderie and autonomy?

It wasn't perfect.

But is the replacement?

Maori perspective on welfare offices and procedures

PUAO-TE-ATA-TU (day break)

 "People felt the Department’s offices were unwelcoming and impersonal, lacked privacy and adequate soundproofing. Counters were seen as creating barriers between “them” and “us” and children were not catered for in waiting rooms."
"It was suggested that training programmes should be designed to raise the level of awareness of Maori culture and should also incorporate training in personal skills and some knowledge of New Zealand history. A compelling need was for front-line staff to be fully aware of the range of assistance available and to have the authority to make decisions and give authoritative advice."

Yesterday MSD released their latest attempts to consult with Maori about their experiences with WINZ and the responses are strikingly similar:

"You said that our offices needed to be brightened up and have
spaces where you could meet with your case managers privately.
You didn’t like open plan set ups as other people could easily
overhear your business. You want access to toilets and tea and
coffee facilities so that when appointments are running late, you
can freshen up and have a drink. You also wanted play areas and
changing facilities for your children and access to free Wi-Fi at
service centres. You didn’t mind the presence of security guards
and understood why they were there. However you said that
kaumātua or Māori wardens could also fill those roles as they were
less threatening to Māori and would likely diffuse situations before
they even began. With some site closures it has been harder for you
to get to other service centres."

"You said that it was stupid that we don’t tell you about all the different supports that you are entitled to receive when you register with us – instead we wait for you to ask."

"You told us you wanted to hear Māori being spoken/greetings | See Māori imagery around | Choose to have a Māori case worker | Be offered training on Māori things."

I can find no on-line data for benefit ethnicity during the 1980s. Currently Maori account for 36.4 percent of all working age beneficiaries. In 2003 the percentage  was 30.4 and in 1998 25.2 percent.

In 20 years the figure has risen from a quarter to well over a third.

Make what you will of that.