Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Is that it?

327 Responses

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  • barnaclebarnes,

    I don't actually have a problem with:

    ...
some essential costs, like rent and power

    We used to have a block of 6 rental units where a large majority of the tenants were on benefits and getting the rent paid could be tough. I myself find it a lot easier to have bills set up on direct debit than having to manually pay them. It is a good budgeting mindset to get into. I fact I would like to see some more support for getting bills paid directly out of the benefit not just for teens.

    I'm not so sure about any of the other measures though - They just don't seem to be the right approach.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Bernard Hickey is calling for National to be consistent, and extend the approach to pensioners.
    Item 7 here :http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/54858/mondays-top-10-nz-mint-swiss-and-japanese-fire-broadsides-currency-wars-tom-friedmans-

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    This policy is just weird. Are they adding more money to the pool?

    Or are they simply taking control of the money away from the youth?

    How do they expect the kids to learn how to budget if everything is done for them? I learnt the hard way how to budget when I was a student, not that I'm advocating punishing this generation because I had to learn the hard way but I can't see how they will learn at all with this system.

    And over all I can't figure out what is the aim of the policy? Is this meant to get them to want to get jobs so they can mange their own money?

    It just seems like a very confused policy, do they even know what they are trying to do themselves or just trying to make soundbites?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It just seems like a very confused policy, do they even know what they are trying to do themselves or just trying to make soundbites?

    Sadly, my impression is that it's the latter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    money for basic living costs like food and groceries will be loaded onto a payment card that can only be used to buy certain types of goods

    This really worries me, because there's a massive problem with food stamps in the US whereby they can't be used to buy a bunch of things like tampons and soap which are, you know, not exactly luxuries. The moment you get into choosing which "certain types of goods" it's permissible for beneficiaries to buy, you're going to screw up.

    More generally, though, it seems like such a useless way of teaching people responsibility. How on earth are you supposed to learn how to budget your own money if the government's making most of the budgeting decisions for you? What if one week your car breaks down and you need to eat rice five nights out of seven to get the money to fix it - but, wait, the government has dictated how much money you spend on groceries. No way to change it. Ooops.

    (But, wait, of course, it's not your money, it's the government's money, which they are grudgingly permitting you to borrow so you're not starving on the street. Argh.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    the number of IYB recipients has, in fact, been declining, even as unemployment benefit numbers rise.

    i had access to a lot of data in a previous role. it could be demographic shift, but the number also indicate that many just become NEET (and thereby fall of the radar) - something bennett might have indicated as part of the media info?

    its the NEETs that are the real problem in this demographic. if they're on the bene you can at least track these kids, but once they disappear, they disappear.

    i know the Youth Guarantee programme was partially focussed on identifying NEETs and getting them into training/education (if they qualified).

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I just figure this is an attempt to find an other to demonise for the election - it' not like National are going to get many votes from this (under 18) demographic

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 1958 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I just figure this is an attempt to find an other to demonise for the election – it’ not like National are going to get many votes from this (under 18) demographic

    I'd see it more as a solution for a problem National thinks its voters believe in, rather than the problem that actually exists. Maybe even for a problem National actually believes exists. It's hard to tell.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    I would like to see some more support for getting bills paid directly out of the benefit not just for teens.

    Are you also advocating for everyone in employment having their bills go out of their pay packet , becuase there are loads of people in paid work who can't budget. Being on a benefit does not mean you are unable to pay your bills or unable to budget or unable to control money.

    The vast silent (law abiding) majority of beneficiaries, pay their bills, don't get into trouble and try to get work, or get well.

    the answer is to get to find out why people can't seem to pay their bills. If it was simply due to lack of budgeting well that would be easy to resolve.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Sue,

    Are you also advocating for everyone in employment having their bills go out of their pay packet , becuase there are loads of people in paid work who can’t budget. Being on a benefit does not mean you are unable to pay your bills or unable to budget or unable to control money.

    +fkcing1

    maybe we just send them to someone like Citizens Advice Bureau, or other free budgeting services. learning skills is better than being taught dependency.

    freaking nanny state government...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Sue, in reply to John Farrell,

    Bernard Hickey is calling for National to be consistent, and extend the approach to pensioners.

    well that can't happen , senior citizens are better than beneficiaries

    for example if you go to the winz office senior citizens sit in a separate waiting area, with nice seats and a table and a few pot plants. If a beneficiary dare sit there security moves them away

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    My Ben’s theory is that it’s a pilot scheme tested on a small number of people that noone will kick up too much of a stink about, with the ultimate intention of privatising the welfare system; basically, the government paying private providers to “look after” beneficiaries, instead of paying the beneficiaries directly.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    More generally, though, it seems like such a useless way of teaching people responsibility. How on earth are you supposed to learn how to budget your own money if the government's making most of the budgeting decisions for you? What if one week your car breaks down and you need to eat rice five nights out of seven to get the money to fix it - but, wait, the government has dictated how much money you spend on groceries. No way to change it. Ooops.

    When is nanny statism not nanny statism? When it's paternalism.

    And talk about attacking the symptom. As I posted in another thread, even the pro-market FranO urged caution, in case there was a fiery equal and opposite response.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3897 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    My Ben’s theory

    of the conspiracy theories i've heard today, that one is the most realistic

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    It really pisses me off that the yoof have become a convenient scapegoat to target for issues that affect all of us with pretty little policy snippets - like the cartoon bandaids you stick over a kid's injury but with less placebo effect for the injured. Youth benefits, car-crushing, zero alcohol for learner drivers - all designed to help us older ones tut tut complacently without examining our our behaviours and entitlements.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Lower voting age to 16.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes, in reply to Sue,

    The vast silent (law abiding) majority of beneficiaries, pay their bills, don't get into trouble and try to get work, or get well.

    And long may that continue.

    the answer is to get to find out why people can't seem to pay their bills. If it was simply due to lack of budgeting well that would be easy to resolve.

    Lack of budgeting is _not_ easy to resolve. It is a hard problem even for people with a lot of money. Just look at credit card debt in this country.

    Anyway I wasn't mandating that rent comes out of people's benefit but I was suggesting that there is more support for it. If the landlord/tenant/WINZ agreed that it was the best approach in their particular case then why not? I think it is a great way of budgeting. Just like money coming out for Kiwisaver for my retirement. I know I'm not going to save as much myself and having it come out of my pay is a bloody good idea in my book.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll, in reply to Che Tibby,

    Yeah, it seems to me like it doesn’t make sense to spend this much on setting up the systems if you’re not thinking about scaling it.

    And then making people on the benefit reapply after a year, gives you a great opportunity to transition them to this new more restrictive system, without having the system crumble under the weight of trying to set it up for every beneficiary at once.

    And if your goal was ultimately to introduce ‘choice’ by opening up the welfare system to ‘competition’ (nominally around outcomes and costs presumably) from private companies, this is also where you’d have the opportunity to transition beneficiaries to a 'holistic’ provider that might for example, provide those services that are being paid for directly.

    Now this last bit is where I jump the genetically engineered super shark into conspiracy: Would the company town concept not make a profitable model for a service provider?

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Ben McNicoll,

    Would the company town concept not make a profitable model for a service provider?

    it did occur to me that 'payment direct to landlords' is, in effect, 'state-housing' under a privatised gaze.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll, in reply to Che Tibby,

    I just find myself wondering if all of these announcements of seemingly ineffectual tinkering around the edges are just dog-whistling to the base, or do they add up to some signs of where they Nats would like to push things next term.

    Or is it a win-win for them (or lose-lose, depending on your viewpoint)?

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sue,

    The vast silent (law abiding) majority of beneficiaries, pay their bills, don't get into trouble and try to get work, or get well.

    the answer is to get to find out why people can't seem to pay their bills. If it was simply due to lack of budgeting well that would be easy to resolve.

    What would be helpful is, if assistance was not considered to be money undeserving or bludged, instead, just assistance to get by because we care about our fellow citizen. But that is a mindset that is very difficult to shift especially when a government is suggesting it's citizens must be bludgers, who are too dumb to look after themselves because they are being paid for by the state. Reminds me of the big ruler/stick my math teacher used to have at Remuera Intermediate.The strap must be on the way back soon.Whose the "nanny state" now?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5700 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    maybe national should go all the way and simply categorise beneficiaries as
    - deserving poor
    or
    - undeserving poor
    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=EP19070730.

    I thought all this rubbished got fixed al long long time ago, first slowly by sneddon and then comprehensively by Michael Joseph savage. In the 1940s living standards in nz were some of the highest in the world which was when everyone had an aha moment and realised treating the poor as second class citizens didn't work

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    And over all I can't figure out what is the aim of the policy? Is this meant to get them to want to get jobs so they can mange their own money?

    To get votes from old people who hate young people. It is that simple. Whether these measures target an actual social problem, or even do so effectively, is irrelevant.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I wish we had more yoof actually commenting on PAS to tell of their experiences.

    The only one I'm in frequent contact with broke his back in a motorcycle crash on the weekend and is likely to be on a benefit for up to a year, just on health issues alone. He's almost completely irresponsible, financially and socially. It would be extremely easy to judge him, if I didn't know the back-story. Suffice to say that he is modelling some extraordinarily irresponsible behaviour that affected him and a lot of other people, and went (to his eyes) unpunished.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    My Ben’s theory is that it’s a pilot scheme tested on a small number of people that noone will kick up too much of a stink about, with the ultimate intention of privatising the welfare system; basically, the government paying private providers to “look after” beneficiaries, instead of paying the beneficiaries directly.

    + fucking 1.
    Bet they wont be allowed to buy Adidas clothing next.

    To add to that, if they can swing numbers to show how "successful" the scheme is, then who can argue when they claim it is necessary for the rest.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5700 posts Report Reply

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