Friday, April 12, 2019

"Jacinda Ardern's economics of blindness": David Seymour

ACT MP David Seymour writes at Magic Talk:

Would you live in a country in which the average age at death is 45, few children attend secondary school, and most people don’t have access to a telephone or electricity?
Sounds awful, right? That was New Zealand in 1913. The difference between then and now is productivity.
Paul Krugman – a Nobel Prize-winning, left-wing economist – once wrote that “Productivity isn't everything, but, in the long run, it is almost everything. A country's ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.”
Most serious economists would agree. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Media Release: Widespread benefit fraud identified by Auckland University

Widespread benefit fraud identified by Auckland University

April 11, 2019

Lindsay Mitchell, Welfare commentator and researcher

Widespread benefit fraud has been identified by the Auckland University of Technology in research published yesterday by the Ministry of Social Development.

For a number of years, and on a number of occasions, I have questioned the longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) data because the level of reported sole parenthood does not match the reported national level. In new research by AUT the authors have made similar observations:

"A weakness of the GUiNZ data is that it may not be population representative and is not linked to administrative data.... Overall, 95% of GUiNZ children are born to mothers who are partnered. The GUiNZ sample seems to have low sole-parent status compared to a 2009 study that found one-third of families with dependent children were headed by sole-parents (Ministry of Social
Development, 2010). This could be because being partnered in the GUiNZ data is not the same as their domestic-purposes benefit status, from which partnership status is inferred by other studies. We find that 70% of those who say they receive the domestic-purposes benefit also answer yes to the question of whether they have a partner – confirming that the sole-parent status derived from GUiNZ is essentially different to those studies which rely on benefit status to infer partnership status." (My emphasis)

Work and Income rules state:

You may get Sole Parent Support if you are:
-aged 20 or older
-a single parent or caregiver with one or more dependent children under 14
-not in a relationship
-without adequate financial support

Claiming a sole parent benefit while partnered is illegal. Based on these new findings the practice may be widespread. It appears however to be tolerated.

The government is currently sitting on the completed Expert Welfare Advisory Group report. It is to be hoped that benefit fraud and better policy to prevent it, will form part of the ensuing discussion.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

There are no fathers now - just 'partners' of mothers

Are you a Dad? Do you want to be known as the father of your child or just the 'partner' of his mother?

Research released today by MSD into protective factors for vulnerable children based on the longitudinal Growing Up in NZ study refers only to mothers and partners, not mothers and fathers.

Fathers are only referred to in token reference to overseas research. Barely at all.

There is a huge irony in play here. I doubt the researchers noticed.