Saturday, February 16, 2019

Welfare advocates start lining up

An article appeared in the DomPost on Thursday, Feb 14.

My response.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

If leftists won't believe the Sally Army, then who?

If I had a dollar for every time some individual or organisation claimed inequality was growing, I'd be rich.

But the latest Salvation Army appraisal of the nation (an annual publication) has this to say:

Our prosperity is fairly shared
The past five years have seen increasing prosperity for most New Zealanders and a very modest narrowing of income inequalities. Those living on welfare benefits remain economically excluded, however.

The last statement is  not correct.

The report goes on to acknowledge this by mentioning extra supplementary assistance, the " one-off increase in benefit rates in 2016" and the winter energy payments.

It does not mention increases in the accommodation supplement, changes to benefit abatement rates allowing some beneficiaries to earn more, the significant Best Start payment for newborns and increases to WFF payments to children in beneficiary households.

They draw a depressing conclusion:

... the numbers of working-age adults receiving a benefit remains constant around 285,000, and this is despite the official unemployment rate in September 2018 sinking to a 10-year low of 3.7% of the workforce. The core of those receiving a benefit, around 150,000 adults, do so for health or disability reasons and so are paid the Supported Living payment or the Jobseeker/Health Condition payment. Their needs and this number of people are unlikely to change even in times of low unemployment. This permanence, alongside the economic exclusion suffered by those reliant
on welfare payments, suggest that a radical re-think is required for setting benefit levels. Such a re-think should look at avoiding the need for top-up and supplementary payments, and could consider indexing benefit levels to changes in wages and salaries as we already do for New Zealand Superannuation.
This final recommendation will undoubtedly be a feature of the Welfare Working Group's report due end of this month.

I don't have a problem with such an indexing, which is what we do for Superannuitants. But don't pretend that beneficiaries have been "economically excluded" without it to make the argument.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Flummoxed by latest political poll

I couldn't really give a fig if National tanks. They've been almost as socialist as Labour for a long, long time. They message otherwise then merely manage degrees of intervention and redistribution.

But I am surprised at the latest poll result that has Labour well up and National down. I'm not sensing any warming to Labour or Jacinda. Talkback, letters-to-editors, personal conversations don't find for Labour.

Topical issues have run against Labour. Don't need to spell those out.

Leadership? Personally I lost any interest in Bridges when his ' useless' descriptive remarks about a fellow MP came to light. Because he had painstakingly painted himself as Mr Nice Guy prior. BUT I am atypical.

Such a sizable swing simply makes no sense to me.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Another racist policy!

The government has announced it will ban smoking in cars that contain children:


Seriously, what about the thousands of children who are affected by drugs and alcohol before they ever get to grace a baby car seat? This move is a superficial scratch on the surface of a much deeper problem.