Friday, December 11, 2020

Benefit numbers back to GFC levels

Percentage of working age people (18-64) on a benefit just hit 12% or one in eight (377,096).

Last time it was that high was 2010/11 during the GFC.

(It should be noted that benefits do usually spike slightly during December/January as students move onto a Jobseeker Support Student Hardship.)

Mallard makes more in a year than was paid to the slandered individual

Mallard makes $296,007 a year. Almost double what was paid to the individual he slandered.

That's what stuns me most about this revelation.

$158,000 seems a paltry pay-out for what the ex-parliamenatry employee endured.

Mallard has no mana going forward. He has no choice but to resign.

36 years is long enough. Bow out gracefully.

Update: There is talk on NewstalkZB that the falsely accused staffer recieved nothing. So was the $158,000 just court costs? Clearly I am not savvy about these procedures.

Update 2: The Taxpayer's Union has launched a petition calling for Mallard to pay the taxpayer back

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Cure worse than the disease

The New York Post reports:

Japan is struggling with a mental health crisis as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, with more people dying in one month from suicide than from COVID-19 all year long.

The National Police Agency said suicides surged to 2,153 in October alone, with more than 17,000 people taking their own lives this year to date, CBS reported.

By comparison, fewer than 2,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19 in 2020.

Experts say the pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues due to prolonged lockdowns, isolation from family members, unemployment and other financial concerns, and a lack of school structure.

Expect more examples of  'the cure is worse than the disease' (albeit Japan already has one of the higher developed world suicide rates.)

Those who impose the lock-downs don't have to deal with the god-awful reality of them. They are running around making adrenalin-flowing, power-tripping, momentous decisions, commanding a national, even international stage for perhaps the first and only time in their lives.

The rest of us can eat cake.

Monday, December 07, 2020

PM complains about sluggish child poverty data

 Stuff's Luke Malpass talks to the PM about her future priorities:

Ardern ... nominated housing, child poverty, and climate change as key areas she would continue to focus on in 2021.

In particular, the Prime Minister expressed frustration at how long it takes to measure child poverty data – 18 to 30 months.

The Child Poverty data is collected from the Household Economic Survey. The PM upped the number of respondents from 5,500 to 20,000. Was that likely to increase the turn-around time for collection and publication of data?

However there is data she could get her hands on WEEKLY. 

Children on  benefits are considered to be among those in poverty. That's why the Children's Commissioner wants benefit rates increased. Remember, "One of the best ways to reduce the number of tamariki in poverty is to raise whānau incomes by increasing benefits."

So an early robust measure of child poverty would be the number of children on benefits.

Currently the number of benefits in place is published every friday and lags by JUST ONE WEEK.

Data relating to benefit type, gender, age, ethnicity, duration of stay and broad age of sole parent dependent children are all available. But not the number of dependent children attached to primary recipients.

From my own Official Information requests I know the number has risen. Hardly surprising. But it had risen substantially BEFORE Covid.

So why doesn't the PM use 'children on benefits' as an indicator?

Because she has chosen household income as her primary measure. That's a lever she can pull. Household income can be lifted by increasing benefit income, which she has done in a number of ways.

But there's trade-off. The only conclusion one can draw is that she would rather see children on benefits than see children in poor working households.

Big mistake.