Friday, September 04, 2020

NZ fertility falls to just 1.69

News flash.

New Zealand's fertility rate has fallen to just 1.69, the lowest in a century. We hovered around replacement rate - better than most western nations - for decades but that pattern is well and truly over.

I wrote a paper about this subject which Family First published last year. Here is a historical graph.

Falling fertility is almost uniform across the developed world. Elsewhere only India (just over replacement level)  and Africa are seeing growth and even in those populations the growth is slowing.

Centrist parties = policy creep

Paid Parental Leave (PPL) is quite a recent development.

In the 1990s you could take unpaid leave up to a year, the circumstances in which my first was born. I was amazed to find the company I worked for had to keep my job available to me for 12 months.

Alliance MP Laila Harre introduced a PPL private members bill but in 1998 it was voted down.

However, after Labour was voted in at the end of the nineties, they adopted it as general policy in 2001 to be introduced soon after.

From there the entitlement has grown incrementally.

Most recently it was extended to 26 weeks.

Now National is effectively promising another extension through their $3-6,000 child services entitlement.

The point of my post is to highlight that having two centrist parties means entitlements can only grow as they vie for your votes by promising ever more.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Do I have $75 for National's new child policy?

 Right now, not really. At $226 million that's roughly what it will cost each taxpayer (courtesy of my matchbox calculations of 3m payers.)

All new parents can access up to $3,000 in services. National MP Louise Upston told Heather du Plessis Allan this could be, for instance, extra paid parental leave days so you can count on the maximum entitlement being drawn on. For mothers with "higher needs" the entitlement could go as high as $6,000. Not sure how 'higher needs' will be defined.

Now, remember, this is on top of the Best Start policy Labour introduced which gives $3,000 cash annually universally in the first 365 days and to most in the first three years.

Why aren't parents using that funding to 'buy services'?

I mean, where does this largesse end?

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Have you made up your mind re cannabis vote?

 A Horizon poll says the decision is split 49.5% vs 49.5%.

I am somewhat ashamed to say I am still vacillating.

The age group I fall in exactly reflects the 50/50 split.

One prediction I will make is if traditional voting behaviour holds up, it won't pass. 

BTW the reporter was incorrect in describing ACT's view. ACT does not have a position supporting the change.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Expenditure on emergency housing more than doubles in a year

 Yesterday I posted about the unsustainable practice of housing people in emergency housing, namely motels, holiday parks, backpackers, etc. Here are the grants and amounts per quarter up to June 2019:

Here is an update:

Compared to the March 2019 quater the expenditure has more than doubled. In fact it increased 134 percent.

Monday, August 31, 2020

The downsides of technology

Had a collosal melt-down today losing access to my artist blog. For some reason the address it was linked to has disapeared (it was a Windowslive address) so I can't get into it. The blog will stay there 'forever' as I can also never delete it. So I've had to start up a new one linked to yet another email address, Lindsay Mitchell Artwork, for updates. To establish it I've put up some paintings not at the artist site. A very frustrating day also occupied by hand altering artist business cards after Clear decided they would no longer offer email services. Who can afford to throw away hundreds of cards?

An electorate tick for the National candidate

When I get annoyed with National for taking positions I disagree with it makes it harder to support their MPs. But Chris Bishop has been a highly visible and effective local MP and this seals the deal for me:

Hutt South MP Chris Bishop helped Michael shift to a new motel, and also worked with nearby residents. He was “very unimpressed” with the conditions at the lodge.

Bishop commended the ministry for its actions, but said New Zealanders should not be forced to live in motels.

“We’ve got to do better for residents and the people in emergency housing.”

Personally helping  constituents and highlighting a growing and urgent nation-wide problem. 

Putting MSD clients in temporary motel accommodation is not a sustainable win-win. A bad press story featured on page two of the DomPost is bad for the motels, bad for MSD, bad for property owners in the vicinity and invades the privacy of people requiring emergency accommodation amongst whom a few bad apples tarnish their collective reputation. It's a familiar story though. In Rotorua famous Fenton St is now known as MSD Mile. I blogged earlier this year about the extent of the practice.

Increasing homelessness during Labour's innings is a collosal fail. Despite this the cult of Jacinda will probably see the local Labour list  MP re-elected even though she dropped from 19 to 45 in the 2020 rankings.