Friday, November 19, 2021

NEWSFLASH: Huge drop in Jobseeker numbers!


Net Jobseeker numbers dropped by nearly 5,000 in the week to November 12. That's fantastic. 

The number of people cancelling their Jobseeker benefit  numbered 8,280 - an increase of 5,535 on the prior week. The economy must really be picking up!

Too good to be true?

It is.

What happened is around 5,000 Jobseekers were transferred to Sole Parent Support on November 8.

Because of a policy change, sole parents with babies and toddlers added to an existing benefit no longer have work obligations. The government has told them not to worry their heads about looking for a job. 'The taxpayer will keep on funding you for as long as you keep on having babies.'

What looks like a great news graph is actually a very bad news graph. People who keep having children when they are already reliant on welfare have a habit of staying on benefits for years.

But thanks all you hard working young couples who are either delaying starting a family or putting your children in daycare everyday to go to work to pay your taxes. 

Without you the government wouldn't be able to be so kind and compassionate.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Ardern's untenable position

The Prime Minister's cause du jour, reducing child poverty, is a cover for communistic cravings. Left-wing governments always want to tax the rich to give to the poor in the name of greater equality. Do this under the pretext of alleviating child poverty and sympathetic voters will support you. If redistribution was advocated for the reduction of drug-addicted poverty it might find less appeal. That some children in poverty have parents burning money on their addictions remains a fact ... but never mind.

There is no excuse for taking money off productive people to encourage bad decision-making. Many of the welfare reforms instigated under Ardern will encourage people without independent means to start or grow families. The obvious error is to pay new mothers substantially more - $3,120 annually to rise to $3,380 next year; to increase existing child payments, benefit rates and tie them to wage inflation.Then remove work obligations from mothers of young children EVEN if they have been added to an existing benefit, add in the removal of financial penalties for not naming the father/s of the child/ren, thereby letting him off the hook, and, in a certain sector of society, any sense of personal responsibility around producing children is suspended.

Fortunately it maintains in the majority who are waiting longer, to have fewer children or none at all. The average age of first time mothers is climbing steadily and recourse to fertility assistance is increasing.

Meantime other mothers start young and stay on welfare as a 'career' exposing their children to the greatest level of hardship (red):

Under Ardern's leadership the number of children in benefit households has risen from 172,299 to 208,347 - 21 percent. Most are in sole parent families.

In 2013 Ardern railed against the rise in benefit numbers (particularly the DPB) in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis describing the increase as an "epic fail" by the National government. So clearly she doesn't think being on a benefit is a great thing.

Yet, as outlined above, the actions taken by her government are resulting in the same outcome.

The cake is not finite.One person's piece does not have to be cut smaller so the next's can be cut bigger. Ever increasing redistribution will not reduce the material hardship too many New Zealand children experience. If NZ stays on the higher welfare = decreasing inequality track, we will all end up poorer.

What is most needed right now is for more people to take ownership of their actions. To create children responsibly, as part of a family unit able to care for and nurture them. With an attitude that their needs are an absolute priority.

All Ardern does is encourage the worst impulses in people. Perhaps she needs to start acting a bit more responsibly too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Why the ideological attachment to state housing?

The latest MSD report measuring material hardship shows that among children aged 0-17 those in social housing have much higher hardship rates.

Rates of hardship are measured by items lacking such as a, "meal with meat, fish or chicken (or vegetarian equivalent) at least each 2nd day" or shortfalls like "could not pay an unexpected and unavoidable bill of $500 within a month without borrowing." (See p14 for full list)

But a state house tenant should have more money left over after accommodation costs due to lower income-related rents.

Many state house occupants are young. According to Kainga Ora, with around 68,000 properties: "Approximately 82,000 of our household occupants are under the age of 20, and 39,000 are under the age of ten: a critical time in child development. More than 30% of our tenancies belong to sole parents." 

The next graph depicts under 65s with the red bars representing greatest hardship, dark green, the least.

Again, the worst hardship is in social housing, followed by private rental with accommodation supplement.

If social/state housing does such a poor job of alleviating material hardship, why the continued ideological attachment to it? At least subsidised private rental housing does a slightly better job bearing in mind those percentage differences represent thousands of individuals.

From the report, one final related graph for you. 

Of all the household type profiles below, which most closely resembles social housing/ private rent with AS?

Sole parent families - many in subsidised state or private rentals - continue to harbour the greatest hardship.  Coincidentally the high incidence of these families is another result of a failed ideological fervour - the rejection of nuclear families.