Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Is that it?

327 Responses

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  • Lilith __,

    I’ve no quibble with the Govt tackling youth unemployment, but it seems like this is an attack on the young unemployed. They think micro-managing the finances of young people will help them become empowered and self-supporting??

    ETA: and

    the choice to continue parenting children full-time after they’re able to walk on their own would become the preserve of the employed. Compulsorily.

    Seems rather circular...how many young people would qualify for parental leave even if employed??

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    Well that would certainly answers my question as to what purpose this policy serves.

    It is also consistent with National’s approach to government responsibilities – sell them off to the highest/lowest bidder and then turn your back on the problem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3417 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Ben McNicoll,

    100% dog whistle.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to DeepRed,

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

    The right has always been very good at making exceptions for people that upper middle class pakehas don't like. "One law for all-unless you're brown, poor or brown & poor".

    I've been looking at going back to university, but honestly the idea of living on a student allowance, even with part time work as a supplement, is terrifying. I'm hardly rolling in dough at the moment, but the current student allowance would only just barely cover my rent in a pretty modest flat on the Shore-no food, no utilities, no transport. It's even worse for people on unemployment, so I don't really understand how National can think most people would choose to live on a benefit if they had other, genuine options.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I don’t really understand how National can think most people would choose to live on a benefit if they had other, genuine options

    +1

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to 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.</q>


    Sue, your link seems to be broken?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 493 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    43y/o finance directors are good rational economic actors who must be given freedom over their finances because Govt would get it completely wrong
    17y/o people unable to land a job in a recession must give up freedom over their finances because only Govt knows how they should be spending it.


    I was considering the youth minimum wage arguments the other day and thought why don't we run a Govt job subsidy program that effectively provides employers with cheaper youth employment but allows the yoof to receive regular minimum wage in total? Horribly costly perhaps?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    I was considering the youth minimum wage arguments the other day and thought why don't we run a Govt job subsidy program that effectively provides employers with cheaper youth employment but allows the yoof to receive regular minimum wage in total? Horribly costly perhaps?

    Not sure about that. It does encourage businesses to set up and run profitably without even being able to pay the minimum wage. They become the actual beneficiaries, and the youths have to do all the work. People who are not youths would simply not be hired at all, so it would put huge downwards pressure on wages.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8590 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to BenWilson,

    It does encourage businesses to set up and run profitably without even being able to pay the minimum wage. They become the actual beneficiaries, and the youths have to do all the work. People who are not youths would simply not be hired at all, so it would put huge downwards pressure on wages.

    How does that differ from an actual youth minimum wage? (But entirely open to the fact I've misjudged something here, because it was a 2sec thought!)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    How does that differ from an actual youth minimum wage?

    The govt subsidy to the youth to top up the wage is the major difference.

    In impact on the economy, it's identical - and one of the arguments by which we removed the youth wage not so long ago.

    Man, it's almost like there isn't a quick and easy solution to this problem. That can't be right, it's an election year!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 277 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Ben McNicoll,

    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?

    Company town, or sink estate?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    basically, the government paying private providers to “look after” beneficiaries, instead of paying the beneficiaries directly.

    The government can the cut funding to the private provider, thus freeing up funding for more tax cuts for the rich. The private provider will then be “incentivised” to get people off the benefit. The private provider (inevitably run by government cronies – either John Keys or Tariana Turias, the effect will be the same) can then aggressively cut people from benefits, and, like some medaieval tax farmer, pocket the difference as “profit”.

    the private provider is immune from OIA requests, the government gets to slash social spending, there is a wealth transfer from taxpayers to government cronies, and they get claim beneficiary numbers are dropping at the same time as a bonus.

    Lots of Tory love all round.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd agree with this https://twitter.com/samfromwgtn/status/102838514730795008.

    Srsly, I'd be happy to facilitate anyone who wants to swap their food coupons for something they feel they want.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    This may simply be because a demographic bubble, that of the children born in the early 90s "baby blip", is moving out of that age range.

    Which will make it easy to claim the policy's success - just like Judith Collins trumpeting a reduction in boy-racers since 2008 without mentioning the shrinking cohort, or the impact of higher petrol prices and cost of living.

    (and a Cactusrequest: can we please have a Reply button on the original post, with the same auto-quoting and back-linking features)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    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.

    Sorry if I’m missing something obvious, but is there any clarity over what happens when the sum of someone’s essential bills get higher than their welfare allowance? Will part of this plan be to allocate money to people variably depending on how much electricity they need to stay warm and the cost of their rent? Or do the young and job-less all get forced to live in a small town with a 4-square and a closed meat-works factory, because that’s the only place where rent is low enough for the allowance?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 429 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Oh how I wish that was satire.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    [Businesses] become the actual beneficiaries

    That's likely to be the end-game for these clowns in any case.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll,

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1108/S00176/gordon-campbell-on-the-plans-to-americanise-welfare.htm

    As usual Gordon Campbell articulates most of the thrust of what I was thinking better than I said it.

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, 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

    I'd say he's right (smart man, that). This also fits this govt's pattern of floating part of a policy and testing public reaction before tweaking the rollout politically.

    And it's working very well for them in the absence of coherent opposition. I thought Labour's youth employment spokesperson Jacinda Ardern's repsonse was admirably clear on the main TV news bulletins. Sadly at least one of her colleagues undermined that with more of the usual feral online bitchiness fixated on Key, which does anything but build trust and respect. Message discipline is pretty basic politics, surely, especially in an election period.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes, in reply to izogi,

    Sorry if I’m missing something obvious, but is there any clarity over what happens when the sum of someone’s essential bills get higher than their welfare allowance?

    No idea. It is bloody hard to live on the benefit (I did it myself for a few months). The whole package is of course hair brained but parts of it may be of use to people. In our instance with the flats I think it did come down to a budgeting issue and not a case of not having enough money if they did pay the rent. I know my mum spent a lot of time with our tenants working through their budget but it was a a case of if the cash for the rent stayed in the pocket for a few days it would simply be spent on 'stuff'. $2 here and $5 there and $3 dollars somewhere else and all of sudden you have spent 5-10 percent of your benefit. Hats off to people who do manage on a benefit as it ain't easy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to izogi,

    Will part of this plan be to allocate money to people variably depending on how much electricity they need to stay warm

    That will be speculation and what the market offers, (bit like Enron eh). We already have the ability to gamble on our electricity needs being advertised on TV at the mo. Once the power companies are all "jointly owned" by Key's mates, and paid into by the government to monitor welfare dependants,the world will be their oyster, and one will be told they are warm,whether they feel it or not.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6267 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Jacinda Ardern’s repsonse was admirably clear

    I was disappointed. Didn't feel the passion or the clarity of argument. I keep on getting the feeling Labour are phoning it in this time. Examining the polls rather than their consciences.
    Makes me angry.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    If they're bringing in food stamps, then I hope they're keeping an eye on the food cost survey, rather than just the CPI.

    Of course, it will be inevitable that there'll be complaints further down the road whipped up over what some beneficiaries buy with their food stamps.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • JLM, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    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.

    That's what I wanted to say. I guess you could call it the "politics of envy".

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

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