They want welfare for millionaires!

December 11th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Ben Heather  at Stuff reports:

A $2 billion Government overhaul, including more state homes and universal child support, is needed to fight child poverty, a report from the children’s commissioner says. …

They include scrapping many benefits for parents and replacing them with a universal payment for every child under 5.

Never ever ever. It is morally and economically wrong to tax people more so you can turn every family in New Zealand into  recipients. They want to turn the clock back to the 1970s.

The welfare state should be targeted at families in need. Handing out cash to every family with children is nuts and comes from people who have no appreciation of the fact all those welfare handouts need to be paid for by.

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92 Responses to “They want welfare for millionaires!”

  1. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Progressives have destroyed traditional values.
    This has led to left wing progressives wanting to throw money at the problem they created and right wing progressives saying limit the spending.

    Same continuum.

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  2. Carlos (683 comments) says:

    This kind of shit makes me want to puke blood.

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  3. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Meanwhile a useless quango (Children’s Commissioner) produces more bullshit of monumental proportions: http://www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/10151/Child_Poverty_Report_Web.pdf

    Why doesn’t the government disband this redundant outfit?

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  4. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    To be fair DPF you are only concentrating on one recommendation of the report, they made 78 recommendations.

    On Breakfast this morning, Professor Jonathan Boston made a good point that the state looks after it’s old people better than it’s children.

    If you are going to criticise universal benefits then lets do something about our unaffordable state superannuation.

    [DPF: I have said many times it should not be universal and should have a higher retirement age]

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  5. JeffW (327 comments) says:

    So why doesn’t National grow a pair and dis-establish this commission? In a normal job, giving crap advice would see you lose your position, but in the public sector, nothing happens. The consequence is that there is no downside to giving crap advice, so it keeps on coming, forever increasing the pressure on government expenditure. At one level it is the Government’s fault for doing nothing when the organisations they fund say and do stupid things. Imagine how much better off we would be if government funded organisations were cut off from that funding when they deserved to be, as in this case.

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  6. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    Sort of left wing liberal crap that both the main Socialists will follow to the next election.
    Great at spending other people’s money (until it runs out – THEN PRINT).
    Great soundbite.
    Great on hoardings
    BUT show me the money.

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  7. mister nui (1,029 comments) says:

    Just cut everyones taxes to start with – has the same effect.

    The added benefit of that is then we can sack everyone of the useless pricks involved in dreaming up this shit, and the assholes in the tax collection and redistribution industry. It would be a damn sight cheaper for us if everyone of this bunch were on the dole and not leaching off us through the bureaucratic tit.

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  8. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    “On Breakfast this morning, Professor Jonathan Boston made a good point that the state looks after it’s old people better than it’s children.”

    the STATE…

    children have PARENTS to look after them. Old people dont usually have em…

    also, im calling bullshit on this kids going to school without breakfast thing. half the kids i knew went to school without breaky, by choice. fuck, so did i most of the time. i manage straight A’s.. with E’s for effort :D

    its just another case of the road to hell is paved with good intentions. take the responsibility of feeding kids breakfast away and you will create even worse parents. next stop – free lunches! then dinners! then a social worker on every street looking after all the houses with kids blah blah

    piss off leftys. stop trying to get what you want while reducing other peoples freedoms.

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  9. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Just cut everyones taxes to start with – has the same effect.

    Oh, no. National, the party of lower taxes, will never do that for fear of risk losing the next election. It’s all done with an eye on the polls.

    Who cares about what the country can afford? National doesn’t. Labour and the Luddites even less.

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  10. Miritu (30 comments) says:

    Liberty Scott hits the nail on the head:
    http://libertyscott.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/Poverty

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  11. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    The Child Commissioner was appointed by National I presume. Here’s his resumé-

    Dr Wills trained at the University of Otago Medical School in Dunedin and Christchurch. He began his paediatric training in the United Kingdom. He completed his training, and gained a Master of Public Health degree, in Brisbane. He returned to New Zealand and took up the roles of national paediatrician for Plunket, senior lecturer at the Wellington School of Medicine and community paediatrician at Wellington Hospital.

    This guy has been a constant public sector employee. He’s never going to get it.

    Why do the Nats continue to appoint such people to such positions?

    (They’ve done much the same with education, bringing some expert out from the UK to lead the dept. FFS, has anyone in National looked at the UK education system lately??)

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    It is morally and economically wrong to tax people more so you can turn every family in New Zealand into welfare recipients.

    Surely we should do whatever is most cost-effective for the taxpayer in terms of whatever it is we want to achieve?

    We shouldn’t automatically oppose universalisation of welfare, if it can be shown that the cost savings in administration, for example, are greater than the costs of unneeded welfare (e.g. paying to millionaire parents).

    If cutting down on a massive beauracracy saves $50m, and results in $30m of welfare going to people who demonstrably don’t need it, then it is economically wrong to tax people more just to avoid a lower amount of waste.

    I’m not saying that is the case in this case. But the absolutist position you take in this post, DPF, shouldn’t be absolutist.

    [DPF: I agree there may be times when targetting is not economically efficient. This most definitely is not on of them.

    In some cases there may be a case for targeting, even if economically inefficient, to send out incentives.

    But overall I agree the economic efficiency is very important. As part of that you have to look at deadweight cost to economy of tax churn]

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  13. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    so there are 78 recommendations? how many apply solely to maori? surely the chosen people wont be treated like everyone else?

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  14. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Dont be so quick to write off a great idea.

    The child benefit enabled many people to get into their first house. It was able to be capitalised and its value used as part paymemnt for a house. It was a very worth while system

    But it was done away with and then everyone who didnt want to work got a benefit instead. Previously it was children based – but not now – everuyone gets a benefit and its spent on all that crap that keeps the fast food outlets in business and the wortheless toys people in business and then of course theres the drug and alcohol business that need support as well.

    DPF – you need to do a bit of study of real history and not just believe the crap that the theoreticians spew out.

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  15. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Graeme, it’s disturbing how easy it is to read your comment as saying “forget the morality, so long as it saves money”.

    I’m pretty sure that’s not what you meant. At least I hope so.

    There are always ways to save money and guarantee health for the population and cost savings. But those are not our only considerations. For example, we do not want these things implemented if we have to implement a totalitarian government. (and make no mistake – there are countries who have done exactly that)

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  16. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    “The child benefit enabled many people to get into their first house. It was able to be capitalised and its value used as part paymemnt for a house. It was a very worth while system”

    How much was it back then? $300 a year? $500 a year?

    not sure it would be a huge help getting people into their first house..

    also, why should Dime be subsidising people into their first house? and also, why should dime be discriminating against those who dont have children? people like.. DIME!! or gays! why we discriminating against gay people? not good.

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  17. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Quite frankly the Left’s approach to welfare is nothing short of enslavement. Their policies entrench welfare dependency and create perverse incentives for individuals not to seek work. They will perpetuate child poverty, not reduce it.

    The only sustainable way to reduce poverty is through work – people aspiring to work and higher incomes. Aspiring for their families – their children – to be better educated, to have more options available to them, to want to achieve more for themselves and their own families.

    The state can support this through the following:

    – opening new markets for NZ goods & services
    – encouraging investment (R&D, product development and general capital investment)
    – investing in supporting infrastructure (e.g. roading, broadband, schools)
    – ensuring the skills [education] required to support the economy of today and into the future are being delivered
    – helping beneficiaries to reengage and to break their welfare dependency through access to (valuable) skills training
    – identifying early, and applying extra resources, to help children maximise their education potential

    The result: a vibrant, growing economy, producing more, and higher paying jobs, with a connected, aspirational workforce with the skills to fill those jobs and help to extend businesses further. People leading fulfilling, happy lives, and benefiting from a strong economy and society.

    Looks like a ‘joined-up’ plan. Now where have I seen that?

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  18. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @dime So just because some children go to school without breakfast of their own choice, it doesn’t mean there are children who don’t get a choice.

    I don’t believe it should be universal, but there should be some assistance for families in need. Sure, not every child wants to have breakfast, but you can’t ignore the fact that there are children who are going without (and not just breakfast) and who need help.

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  19. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    scrubone – you have an odd definition of “disturbing” if it includes that possibility that English language blog comments may be ambiguous.

    In particular, you will note that I said: “Surely we should do whatever is most cost-effective for the taxpayer in terms of whatever it is we want to achieve?”

    I was including issues of morality/avoidance of totalitarian government in the “whatever it is we want to achieve” calculation.

    For example, we might want to achieve: a reduction in the number of children with preventable diseases likes rheumatic fever, and a decrease in the number of children failing in education because of factors due to deprivation, without becoming a totalitarian state.

    On your point that we might become a totalitarian state if we have greater universalisation in welfare, do you believe we were such a state in the 50s, 60s, or 70s?

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  20. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    @bhudson: Why doesn’t the National-led government abolish/dismiss/disestablish this useless Commission?
    If not, why not?

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  21. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    It is morally and economically wrong to tax people more so you can turn every family in New Zealand into welfare recipients

    The rise of modern socialism has been underpinned by the promotion of widespread dependence on welfare, where no such depenence had previously existed. Control of the wallet leads to control of the person. And it’s so much cleaner than old-fashioned force which is favoured by despots.

    That National has no interest in stomping out this type of creeping control just show how fundamentally self-serving and corrupt our ‘leaders’ have become.

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  22. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    @Manolo,

    All governments should seek advice. It is their decision as to whether or not that advice should be acted upon.

    It is better to have contrary advice that at least stimulates some thought and debate, than simply to have the advice of ‘yes men’. To choose the ‘yes men’ route is to welcome totalitarianism.

    No thanks.

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  23. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    Here’s my recommendation: Why don’t we take all of the commissioners and their commissions, and sack the lot of them? If they want to campaign and lobby, they can do it in the private sector, not with the tax dollars of people who disagree with them.

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  24. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Never ever ever. It is morally and economically wrong to tax people more so you can turn every family in New Zealand into welfare recipients. They want to turn the clock back to the 1970s.

    The welfare state should be targeted at families in need. Handing out cash to every family with children is nuts and comes from people who have no appreciation of the fact all those welfare handouts need to be paid for by.

    Seems pretty sensible to me. Handing it only to those “in need” creates an incentive for those people to be “in need”. It is why we have a system that encourages people to have kids for the purpose of acquiring a benefit. A entitlement which is given to everyone ensures that those in need get what they need but also retains the incentive to be in work because one is always better off in work if the entitlement is given to everyone.

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  25. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    The rise of modern socialism has been underpinned by the promotion of widespread dependence on welfare, where no such depenence had previously existed.

    You know that a universal child benefit was something we used to have, right? Along with state-funded milk in schools etc.

    The government has long provided for the welfare of people at a cost to others.

    It used to be that it did this by running a highly regulated economy, which resulted in very high levels of employment, by, for example tarrifs on imports, and state-ownership of loss-making employers. The costs were in reduced business profits and fewer options in consumer goods etc.

    It now imposes that cost by taxes, to a greater overall extent than it used to (yes, tax rates were as high as 66%, but few paid at that level, and delivers the welfare through welfare payments, rather than jobs through the ministry of works and the railways.

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  26. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Graeme, I agree. The rise of modern socialism started some time ago, and with some noble objectives. Just as it did in Greece. And Italy.

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  27. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    @dime So just because some children go to school without breakfast of their own choice, it doesn’t mean there are children who don’t get a choice.

    did i say that?

    “I don’t believe it should be universal, but there should be some assistance for families in need.”

    you mean like the DPB and welfare for familes?

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  28. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @DPF: “Handing out cash to every family with children is nuts and comes from people who have no appreciation of the fact all those welfare handouts need to be paid for by.”

    Really? So, let’s look at who the recommendation came from. An Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty. And who was on this Group? Well, one of its members was a guy called Phil O’Reilly … who happens to be the Chief Executive of Business New Zealand.

    I guess from this we conclude that DPF believes Business New Zealand doesn’t understand that government spending requires revenue gathering. Or, alternatively, that his rhetoric is ridiculously overheated.

    [DPF: Of course my rhetoric is overheated. Nevertheless I would be very surprised if O'Reilly or Business NZ support a universal child benefit]

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  29. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Definitely NO, to universal welfare. Give the money to the schools, if children are going hungry. Giving these parents more money is not going to fix the problem, if there is one.

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  30. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    I guess from this we conclude that DPF believes Business New Zealand doesn’t understand that government spending requires revenue gathering.

    And DPF would be largely right if he did believe that. Too many NZ businessmen think cuddling up to socialists is the course to success. They’re not capitalists, they’re crony capitalists who will suck up to the left if they think there is a buck in it for them. Blind to where such policies eventually lead.

    Like Stalin said, “the capitalists will sell us the rope which we will use to hang them.”

    IN NZ and many other western countries, that rope draws tighter every day as stupid blind politically immature crony capitalists work hard to help left wing governments make them like the dodo.

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  31. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    ok lefties. answer this.

    if we give universal child welfare, what sort of change do you think youll see in kids going to school without breakfast?

    do you think the extra $20 is what these “parents” have been searching for? “oh we can finally afford breakfast for little timmy”.

    my best friend grew up with just her mum. she tells me her mum went hungry quite a few times, my friend never did. how many parents are like that now? not enough id suggest.

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  32. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @dime, no but you did say “also, im calling bullshit on this kids going to school without breakfast thing. half the kids i knew went to school without breaky, by choice. so did i most of the time. i manage straight A’s.. with E’s for effort ”

    Sorry if I misinterpreted that, it just kind of seems like you’re discounting the whole issue with that fact – but if that’s not what you meant then sorry for jumping on you like that :P

    And actually some very good comments were made above regarding universal vs not-universal:

    ” Handing it only to those “in need” creates an incentive for those people to be “in need”. It is why we have a system that encourages people to have kids for the purpose of acquiring a benefit. A entitlement which is given to everyone ensures that those in need get what they need but also retains the incentive to be in work because one is always better off in work if the entitlement is given to everyone.”

    This makes a lot of sense, and will help create a decent standard of living.

    But you make a good point – DPB and Welfare for Families are kind of exactly what I was (without realising) referring too ><

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  33. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    “The assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone, or a sort of floor below which nobody need fall even when he is unable to provide for himself, appears not only to be wholly legitimate protection against a risk common to all, but a necessary part of the Great Society in which the individual no longer has specific claims on the members of the particular small group into which he was born”

    I wonder who said that? Probably some fucking socialist. :)

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  34. Scott Chris (6,155 comments) says:

    Surely we should do whatever is most cost-effective for the taxpayer in terms of whatever it is we want to achieve?

    We shouldn’t automatically oppose universalisation of welfare, if it can be shown that the cost savings in administration, for example, are greater than the costs of unneeded welfare (e.g. paying to millionaire parents).

    This is a good point. Besides, I suspect that most millionaires of reasonable conscience wouldn’t claim the benefit.

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  35. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    ” Handing it only to those “in need” creates an incentive for those people to be “in need”. It is why we have a system that encourages people to have kids for the purpose of acquiring a benefit. A entitlement which is given to everyone ensures that those in need get what they need but also retains the incentive to be in work because one is always better off in work if the entitlement is given to everyone.”

    Almost like a tax cut :D

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  36. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    sparky (84) Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Definitely NO, to universal welfare. Give the money to the schools, if children are going hungry. Giving these parents more money is not going to fix the problem, if there is one.

    But they wouldn’t get more money. The proposal appears to be to *scrap* other benefits and *replace* it with a universal entitlement.

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  37. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @dime, instead of universal child welfare – maybe it would be a good idea to implement a food in schools program. That way we can ensure that the money is being used to actually help feed kids, instead of going to the parents, some of which (not all, but certainly some) may never actually help the kids.

    Obviously I’m not an expert on social welfare, but it’s at least a possibility that could be effective if implemented correctly

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  38. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    Well, let’s see what those vicious lefties on the Expert Group (including that raving communist, Phil O’Reilly from the Marxist collective Business New Zealand) actually said:

    “11 We recommend that, in the longer-term, the government create a new income support payment for families with dependent children to replace a number of the existing benefits and tax credits, called the Child Payment. The Child Payment would:
    • be allocated to 100 percent of children aged 0 to 5 years inclusive
    • have the highest value during the first year of a child’s life and reduce as the child ages
    • be targeted based on family income from age 6 years onward.

    We are of the view that real gains could be achieved for children by pooling the current family-focused benefits and tax credits and designing a new, simpler and more generous payment. We propose the creation of a Child Payment, paid for all children from birth to age 5 inclusive, and from age 6 would be targeted on the basis of family income. The Child Payment would:
    • support a parent to stay at home during infancy
    • give proportionally more to children in poorer families, while recognising that all parents with young children face significant costs
    • be simple and transparent, with relatively low transaction and compliance costs
    • have virtually 100 percent take-up from birth
    • be effective in reducing child poverty – a review of OECD practice shows that countries with universal child support programmes achieved lower poverty rates (OECD, 2011).

    The Child Payment would need to be co-ordinated with out-of-school care services. The Child Payment could replace a number of existing child and family supports, including the Family Tax Credit, the Minimum Family Tax Credit, the Parental Tax Credit and the Childcare Subsidy.

    The feedback from the public consultation showed strong support for this recommendation. Some respondents questioned whether a universal component was desirable, but the clear majority of feedback supported giving the Child Payment to all babies, with a targeted payment for older children.”

    Note the “OECD 2011″ report that it references – “Doing Better for Families” – which shows that this sort of policy is the most effective at actually reducing rates of child poverty. Also note this post from DPF, in which he is effusive in his praise for policy that is adopted after expert consideration of the empirical evidence: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/04/using_science_for_good.html.

    [DPF: Citing an OECD report is not the same as peer reviewed science. Unless you think me quoting a Treasury report means my opinion is expert empirical evidence that must be adopted]

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  39. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    I’ve got a better way to cut ‘child poverty’

    Collapse the stock and housing markets and drive the economy into deep recession.

    It worked in Ireland

    Because this measure relates to how the average person in a country is doing, it shifts. For example, after the financial crash in Ireland in 2008, the number of people in poverty fell because the median – or middle – income of the whole society had decreased.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20255904

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  40. Fletch (6,410 comments) says:

    It is morally and economically wrong to tax people more so you can turn every family in New Zealand into welfare recipients.

    I agree with dime in that it’s already happening with the breakfast in schools thing, which I think is ridiculous. They are tackling the problem at the wrong end (as socialist Govts are wont to do). Instead of remedying the end result (hungry children), they should be looking at the cause – why their parents are not providing them breakfast. Can they not afford it? Is it child neglect? Are they spending the money gambling? What?

    One thing is for sure: if schools are feeding the children breakfast, parents will let them; glad that they can spend their money elsewhere. It’s not the school’s role to feed children for free.

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  41. Reid (16,513 comments) says:

    The report says the causes are:

    Leaving aside the causes of poverty of relevance only to developing countries, poverty is variously attributed to:
    • people who are either unprepared or unable to participate productively in the market
    economy – due to age or disability, or a lack productive skills or resources, resulting in
    low wages
    • the dynamic (and sometimes unstable, if not dysfunctional) nature of markets,
    including rapid technological change that can lead to job displacement for older
    workers and those with obsolete skills
    • social norms and institutional practices, such as racism, prejudice or discrimination
    that limit inclusion in the labour market
    • the behaviours and choices of individuals, including willingness to work, problem
    drinking, gambling and drug abuse, leaving school early without qualifications, and
    high rates of teen and sole-parenthood
    • badly designed or poorly implemented policies to alleviate poverty, including policies
    that may lead to dependency.

    …Any effective anti-poverty strategy must therefore be comprehensive in nature and tackle a range of issues.

    And to solve the lack of education which is the one and only root cause, there is no other apart from wilful neglect which is only a small fraction of cases, we have:

    The Government’s initiatives to ensure that young people are successfully prepared for further learning and work are welcome moves to increase the level of skills within the workforce. Better education and employment transitions can help young people from poor families to break the poverty cycle. But we also need to enhance the employment prospects for parents with more limited qualifications and skills. Policies that remove the barriers that keep many parents out of the workforce need to address the following:
    • work needs to pay enough to encourage parents to move into paid employment
    • high-quality, affordable and accessible childcare must be available, including ECE
    and out-of-school programmes
    • some parents on a benefit will need support to enable them to work
    • work tests for parents receiving a benefit need to be clear about the government’s
    work expectations and serve the best interests of their children
    • workplaces need to be family-friendly
    • unemployed parents need to be matched with available jobs.

    But not really a word on tackling those attitudes in parents that really cause their poverty, which is indolence, arrogance, anger, selfish indulgence, etc. Nothing about tackling those, which is where the real problem lies.

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  42. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    The report also said every child should have a pony, a smart phone and a trip to disneyland.

    The report stated we should all live in perfect harmony. blah blah

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  43. Arnold Rimmer (4 comments) says:

    I hope that everyone here criticising the recommendations in the report (a) has read the report and (b) had their say during the extensive public consultation late last year/early this year.

    Otherwise you have no mandate to be critical.

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  44. jacob (16 comments) says:

    The welfare system does need a drastic overhaul, but not add ons like this report is suggesting. I’d be happy to see a universal child benefit, if the Working for Families program was scrapped at the same time.

    The Working For Families program is a disaster and frankly, a universal child benefit would be a better option. Working For Families comes with bureaucratic overhead, where good parents need to go and report so some public servant what their income is week to week. If it’s variable, they risk losing the benefit, so often don’t bother earning at all. Effective marginal tax rates for same families on the program exceed 100%, making it better not to work for those families because they are left with more money in the hand that way.

    As important, a significant tax free income bracket would leave more money in the hands of those on low incomes. There’s no point in bringing in tax revenue just to hand in back out the same people by paying it back in benefits.

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  45. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Besides, I suspect that most millionaires of reasonable conscience wouldn’t claim the benefit.

    If you substitute “people who don’t actually need the benefit” for “millionaires”*, the example of Johnathan Hunt claiming his NZ super while living a comfortable life as High Commissioner to the UK springs to mind.

    Certainly a high profile example of someone who would regard themselves “of reasonable conscience” claiming a universal benefit when their means did not require it.

    * The substitution only because I could not state whether Hunt would or would not have been considered a “millionaire” at the time.

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  46. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    “Otherwise you have no mandate to be critical.”

    Utter bullshit Arthur.

    It is my money they will be taking to fund their loony tune ideas.

    And as well as that, the idea that governments should give some people things that are paid for by looting other people is an idea well past its use by date, and shown by events in Greece (for one example) to be totally counter-productive in the long run.

    You might want to turn your back on reality, others are not so cowed.

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  47. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    work needs to pay enough to encourage parents to move into paid employment

    Really what that means is that the gap between welfare income and work has to be sufficient to not create a perverse disincentive for work.

    Work paying more is by no means the only, or necessarily correct, way to achieve that. Ensuring that benefit levels don’t creep up would also help to sustain the incentive for paid employment.

    I fear the bullet point, as written, was actually intended to help justify an increase in the minimum age. Something I suspect Mr O’Reilly would not be crying out for.

    [I take it there is no statement within the report that all recommendations and wording were reached by consensus.]

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  48. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter There is a difference between “giving people some things while looting other people” vs “a nation coming together with people who are financially comfortable helping support people who are struggling”

    The reality is some people are struggling to get by, and ultimately their children are the ones losing out here. As a nation we should be encouraging support for people less fortunate than ourselves instead of being the selfish child in the playground and saying “this is mine and I don’t care who suffers as long as it stays mine”

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  49. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I also doubt that kids not getting breakfast can be blamed on anything but their parents.
    $2 covers 5 servings of porridge with milk and sugar, or 5 servings of weetbix(2) with milk and sugar.
    That’s 3 cigarettes, or 1.5 stubbies, or 2 x $1 instant kiwi tickets, or 1/3 of the cheapest Lotto lucky dip, or a tenth of a tinnie. To feed a kid breakfast before school for a week.

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  50. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    You guys should be happy about this announcement from Labour. It shows Labour still don’t get it and they are still well out of touch with those who they think are their core supporters.

    Do you remember how well it went down with the voters in 2011, when Labour said they were going to extend “the in-work tax credit” to beneficiaries?

    This thing now is just the same; more money for beneficiaries, it will be just as unpopular.

    When you look at how beholden Labour are to the trade unions, it astonishes me that they don’t seem to grasp how much most blue collar loathing there is for benes. You have to assume Labour’s the party of union organisers, union head offices and union politicians, rather than union members??

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  51. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    reality is some people are struggling to get by, and ultimately their children are the ones losing out here. As a nation we should be encouraging support for people less fortunate than ourselves instead of being the selfish child in the playground and saying “this is mine and I don’t care who suffers as long as it stays mine”

    You’ve got the idea completely arse about face.

    I care about children not being fed, but there is no way I will ever support a government program that I know will exacerbate the problem.

    You did not address my point.

    Do you think there are more kids in poverty in Greece now that their economy has collapsed or not?

    If you continually introduce policies that undermine the ability of citizens to provide for themselves then you will never get an economy that prospers and provides a higher standard of well being.

    Socialism is an unreal system that continually ignores the simple reality that eventually enterprise and self reliance declines and then the money runs out and there is then more suffering than ever before.

    if you can’t see that you are blind to reality.

    LOOK AT GREECE AND SO MANY OTHER EUROPEAN SOCIALIST ECONOMIES.

    All collapsing with their citizens falling into poverty because they have RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.

    Singapore has no welfare.

    It also has no child poverty.

    Who has the better system? Greece or Singapore?

    What is the better policy- encourage reliance on government or encourage self reliance?

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  52. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter you make a very good point there, I hadn’t thought about that that part of the problem, so thanks for pointing that out.

    I think you’re right there – to encourage self reliance, I guess the problem would be implementing a policy to help with that, and ensuring people get the opportunity to move towards self reliance.

    At this point in NZ there are too many unemployed and not enough jobs for them to work in – which I think is the very core of the poverty issues in NZ. This all stems back to employment and a whole other department in Government – but very much affects poverty issues.

    Ultimately no policy or system will be perfect, and there will always be a shortfall somewhere in the system.

    You make good points Redbaiter, so I’d be interested to hear what alternatives you have to this system – which would help increase self reliance and while doing so also benefit families and children in need?

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  53. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Do-gooders of the world, get effed!

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  54. simpleton1 (230 comments) says:

    Would all the helpful people wake up early in the morning and go with a donation of a dozen eggs and loaf of bread and butter, or a packet of weetbix and a tin of fruit with a carton of milk or packet of porridge.

    Whether planned the day before or not,
    Then knock on the door of a supposed poor family house, announcing that they would love to share a breakfast, just break out the pots and pans, plates and cutlery, enlist any young helpers and or parent so that the family all learns how to start the day with a breakfast. Afterward all dishes are done and then off to school and work.

    No judgement of how things are, just get done what is needed during that hour. Answer any queries to be helpful with out pushing things.

    That way the kids and parents can see how to do things, recognize what may be bought in a shop, and eventually phase over to doing it themselves. If they are not interested then move on to where there is a better attitude and response. They have made their choice.

    Why can not all these helpful people put their important time, and really just a helpful small change contribution. It is the personal touch that is so important, that can be inspirational and motivational.

    Surely this would be much better than “I am the man from the government and I am here to help you” with social welfare and other people’s money. Just how generous are others who then feel so good demanding other people’s money to give away on hare brained schemes after they heavily clipped (salaried) the system.

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  55. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Fair question: On principle, why is it fair to punish those who don’t have children to reward those who do?
    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/childrens-commissioner-recommends.html

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  56. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    Well children……Red Baiter is right you know….again!

    As we’ve all seen all around NZ – in the argument that the poor should receive benefits regardless of their behaviour because the only thing that matters is that they are poor.

    Well children……..good behaviour should be rewarded……with money and votes….and then it becomes an ingrained habit!

    You lefties are fucken useless at parenting….fuck your next generation of kids! :cool:

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  57. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Manolo I know right! Those dirty lefties don’t want children to starve and die. Such hippy scum right?

    @Harriet yep. I’m pretty sure every person who identifies as left-wing is a terrible parent. I bet every single one is on a benefit and just wants to steal your money!

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  58. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Rimmer – aptly named!

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  59. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    Arnold Rimmer (4) Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 11:24 am
    I hope that everyone here criticising the recommendations in the report (a) has read the report and (b) had their say during the extensive public consultation late last year/early this year.

    Otherwise you have no mandate to be critical.

    Would this mean I am not allowed to bag the Blackcaps as I have never played international cricket?

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  60. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    Arshol Rimmer#

    “…..I hope that everyone here criticising the recommendations in the report (a) has read the report and (b) had their say during the extensive public consultation late last year/early this year……Otherwise you have no mandate to be critical….”

    You’re New!

    Round here we don’t like being told by you lefties to shut up…………comply…… or otherwise start getting used to being told to fuck off! :cool:

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  61. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    You’re new here too Harriet. Calling people arsehole doesn’t go down too well with the boss.

    Just so you know.

    (But please, continue speaking on everyone else’s behalf about what the collective “we” likes and dislikes. You are quite amusing in your own way.. )

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  62. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    Cody HM#

    Think!

    The government has no MORAL RIGHT to reward people for poor behaviour! :cool:

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  63. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Harriet – you’re right, there is no right or reason to *reward* people for poor behaviour.

    However, not EVERY person on a benefit is there as a result of “poor behaviour”

    I personally know a few people who have been put out of work through no fault of their own, have been unable to find jobs they’re easily over-qualified for, and have had to turn to the benefit against their best wishes (I’m talking about people who hate the fact that they’re on the benefit)

    Every persons situation is different, and sure, there are some people that just sit on the dole and don’t make an effort to change their situation, but that doesn’t mean every person on the benefit is like that.

    So I will “think” but you should too. Often it’s not just black and white.

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  64. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Never mind, Arnold – Ace will sort them out for you

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  65. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I’m not sure that WFF really knows what it is for – it seems to lack a general organising principle and strategy.

    A) If it is about supporting families with children who have additional costs then it should be a universal payment. Who cares if you are well off – if you are well off with kids you have more costs than a couple who are well off without kids. If WFF is about society as a whole bearing some of the burden for raising the next generation then the most efficient way to do this with the least bureaucracy is a small universal credit to all parents paid for from general taxation.

    B) If it is about incentivising people back to work then why do we only give it to people with kids? They should just adjust benefit and abatement rates etc to deliver a sharper work incentive for all people not in work.

    C) If it is about the additional costs of going back to work for people who support kids then why would you not simply increase the childcare subsidy (or change the age threshold – as the subsidised ‘free’ ECE is currently only available for over 3’s).

    D) If it is about redistribution (as the upper income bracket would imply) then is it a horribly inefficient way to deliver redistribution. Why would you have an army of bureaucrats trying to figure out my relationship status and how long I’m in a job for and for how many hours and what my partner does and how many kids I have and who their guardians are. Better to get the government out of peoples bedrooms – if you want richer people to pay more then be honest about it – add a percentage point or two to the top tax rate and be willing to pay the electoral consequences for it. Don’t mess around trying to claw back tax revenue indirectly from wealther people every time they pay to feed their kids or put them in chioldcare or whatever.

    Every time this debate rears its head it makes me want to go back and reread The Big Kahuna by Gareth Morgan.

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  66. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    The answer is simple. If you want prosperity in today’s world then you must produce. And whatever you produce it must be produced at a globally competitive price.

    Norway is often held up by socialists as an example of a working socialist economy. And to an extent, it does work. But only because Norway has large oil reserves and the benefit of its oil production allows socialism to work there. Meanwhile the country is rife with low production in other industries and welfare dependency and sloth and crime are all major problems. When the oil runs out, Norway will be as crippled as any other socialist economy.

    Singaporeans have a high standard of living but no oil. How do they do it? By running an efficient economy where everyone provides for themselves but more importantly, they all live within their means.

    In NZ, we attempt to run a socialist economy but the production is just not there to support it. So the government borrows, and this debt burden is then tacked on to the cost of running the country which makes it hard for us to produce products at global market rates which makes it hard for us to lift standards of living.

    The problem in NZ is too many people not producing tradeable goods, too much debt, too much welfare and too much government. All of these things are at the root of the child poverty problem.

    If you want children to be better fed you reduce debt, reduce the size of government, get people out of non-productive sectors of the economy and into productive sectors. You do not give them more borrowed money to make them reliant on government that is inevitably one day going to collapse.

    IOW you follow the Singapore model, not the European socialist model.

    Governments have to stop spending, but more importantly they have to stop spending money they don’t have, where each succeeding generation is born into greater poverty than the one before. Especially if the economy is low on production. To go on borrowing will end in disaster.

    The answer is less government spending, a more productive economy and less citizens with a mentality that demands government provides for them. That mentality will eventually cripple any country, even Norway.

    Its simple maths.

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  67. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Richard29, a small correction to c). Currently the greatest level of ECE funding is for under 2’s. It drops considerably for 2 year olds, and then increases a bit via the 20 hours “free” when the child turns 3.
    http://www.lead.ece.govt.nz/LeadHome/ManagementInformation/Funding/FundingHandbook/Glossary/AppendixOneFundingRates.aspx

    So the squeeze really goes on parents when their child is 2. Making it consistent would certainly help a lot of working parents.

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  68. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    Actually the real answer is to remove politicians who seek the destruction of the capitalist system from parliament and their supporters and their “useful idiot” followers (example Dr. Wills) from every position of public importance.

    Then we will have the prosperity that will allow our kids to be well fed.

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  69. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter – some damn good points there, though it all comes back to the economy, which, in NZ, is choking.

    More jobs = Families able to provide for children AND more Government income in tax = less Government debt, less poverty, and a more self relient culture.

    I see what you mean about simple maths!

    The catch is finding/creating those jobs…

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  70. nonpartisan (41 comments) says:

    You have my vote Redbaiter.

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  71. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Redbaiter:

    Singaporeans have a high standard of living but no oil. How do they do it? By running an efficient economy where everyone provides for themselves but more importantly, they all live within their means.

    Ka – ching! They live within their means.

    Now, there’s a thought….

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  72. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    AG #

    Says:

    “….Payment would:
    * be allocated to 100 percent of children aged 0 to 5 years inclusive
    * give proportionally more to children in poorer families, while recognising that all parents with young children face significant costs….”

    Having ‘significant costs’ is NOT a reason to recieve tax funded welfare.

    It creates reliance, entitlement, entrapment, thoughtlessness, and lazyness! :cool:

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  73. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    “Singaporeans have a high standard of living but no oil. How do they do it? By running an efficient economy where everyone provides for themselves but more importantly, they all live within their means.”

    Just so everyone is aware, this is what reddie is advocating for New Zealand: http://finchannel.com/Main_News/Op-Ed/91508_The_Singapore_Model%3A_How_it_works/

    “And so the Singapore Model of economic development aggressively let the State apparatus take control of critical components of economic development. It created Temasek, sovereign wealth management fund which invested across many corporations, giving them massive strength in their technology and operations. It owned and operated the main arteries of the economy: Singapore Airlines, Singapore Port, Airport , Housing Development Board which supplied 90% of Singapore’s housing, Singapore Telecom, Singapore Government Investment Corporation which invested in and outside the country, trading arm Intraco, Development Bank of Singapore, the Singapore Transport Board with all it buses, the Undergorund trains, the national universities and schools and through Temasek, plugged its investments into bio technology, consumer electronics and a number of profitable ventures.

    Today, over 60% of the $300 billion GDP is from state owned and state-linked enterprises that gives Singapore a certain stability, even in times of financial and other crisis. The Singapore model was based on the assumption that the State could own and operate any business better than any private venture could do. The miracle is that Lee proved his theory right. A state minister is on an average wage of $1m per year and senior executives and staff are often paid higher wages, inducing top private sector executives to drift toward public sector jobs.”

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  74. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    “[DPF: Of course my rhetoric is overheated. Nevertheless I would be very surprised if O'Reilly or Business NZ support a universal child benefit]”

    Oh really? So the report authors are lying when they say on page v of their report:

    “Some of the issues covered in this Report were subject to substantial debate among EAG members. We sought a consensus view on all key issues. While all members might not subscribe to every statement printed here, they endorse the Report and recommendations as a whole.”

    I await with interest the media release in which Phil O’Reilly disassociates himself with the recommendation for a universal child benefit for under-5’s and lambasts the report as falsely representing his views.

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  75. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    CodyHM #

    “……The catch is finding/creating those jobs…”

    What do you mean by ‘those’ jobs?

    What types of jobs were created under Helun?

    Geologists?….1st year grads who earn circa $100KAu….mechanics, electricians, plumbers, drivers, chefs, who earn MORE $Au from an export industry?

    Or about 5000 feminist/mixosexuals earning circa $80Knz tax funded wages? :cool:

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  76. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    AG#

    “……Today, over 60% of the $300 billion GDP is from state owned and state-linked enterprises that gives Singapore a certain stability, even in times of financial and other crisis. The Singapore model was based on the assumption that the State could own and operate any business better than any private venture could do. The miracle is that Lee proved his theory right. A state minister is on an average wage of $1m per year and senior executives and staff are often paid higher wages, inducing top private sector executives to drift toward public sector jobs……”

    So your saying:

    9 YEARS OF SOCIALIST NZ LABOUR WAS FUCKEN USELESS ? :cool:

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  77. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Harriet So, you’re just going to assume I’m a pure “I LOVE LABOUR THEY ARE THE BEST” kinda person?

    If there aren’t enough jobs out there then obviously neither Labour or National have done the work to help build an employment base.

    The trick is to look into the future and figure out how we can move up from here, instead of looking in the past and throwing blame around.

    So by “those jobs” I guess I mean – any jobs that could positively influence our economy, and thus benefit our country.

    What are your ideas Harriet? What do you think would help improve the welfare and economy of our nation?

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  78. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    AG#

    The state owned asset model doesn’t work in NZ – Labour’s Hulun and Singapore’s Lee proved it! :cool:

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  79. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    Cody HM#

    School vouchers. Private health insurance. Income protection insurance. Mining. Cutting red/green tape. Less government departments. Less public servants. Council borrowing caps. Lower taxes – tax free threshold $40k.Instant drug posession fines $500. Instant 4 week prison sentance for 2nd court conviction -[4 weeks of the prisoners annual leave]- one week off for good behaviour.Mum keeps the holiday pay and the car.Prisoner keeps job.[16 people can go to jail each year for the price of one, but it is at the start of their offending.Jails were not created as a last resort, but rather the way they have been used has lead to them being used as a last resort]. :cool:

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  80. Harriet (4,984 comments) says:

    Cody#

    Jails in Australia were once used as a first resort…..NOW look at their economy! :cool:

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  81. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @Harriet Those are actually good ideas, obviously it’s not as easy as clicking fingers and it’s done, but there’s some interesting thoughts in there.

    Your suggestion in regards to the 4 week prison sentence – I like the idea of that. That’ll help reduce costs, create a strong deterrent for re-offending, and not disadvantage families if someone is sent to prison.

    I also think NZ needs to look at creating new industries in order to set up income and stability for future generations – You’ll probably all think I’m a dirty hippy – but renewable energy solutions would be a boon for NZ. It would create jobs, and provide new income, it would reduce our dependancy on finite resources (which will one day run out, maybe not our generation, maybe not the next, but eventually). So like I said – good ideas Harriet – I may lean left but I can also listen to reason ;P

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  82. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    All I did was point out that reddie is advocating that we follow a “free market” system in which the majority of the economy is controlled by state-owned companies, ruled over by an authoritarian national leader who believes that the State has a responsibility to dictate moral values for the population as a whole. This is reddie’s preference, not mine. So I suggest that you direct your scorn towards him.

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  83. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    Singapore chooses to invest in employment recently S$5.1 billion was allocated for employment measures, including grants to companies to retain staff. Recently 169,000 unemployed workers (there are only 3 million workers, so this over 5%) were placed into training programmes.

    Imagine if Clark’s government had done either of those, what redbaiter would have said?

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  84. CodyHM (13 comments) says:

    @SPC That isn’t actually a bad idea, mind.

    If we looked at how much the Government is spending on unemployed people who, say, were unemployed due to redundancy, and used that amount of money to create incentives for employers to retain workers in New Zealand, sure the money would still be being spent, but it would keep people in work, bring tax into the Government, and also help better provide for families.

    I understand there’s a lot more to it than that – but it could at least be the start of a good idea?

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  85. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    Another recommendation was to pass money collected from fathers/absent parent to the DPB receiving caregiver by (pooling it and then) increasing the benefit paid per child by $10 a week. Apparently the cost being met by ending the accomodation supplement to those without children.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10853206

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  86. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    CodyHM, the current government is doing the exact opposite of course – cutting jobs in government and cutting places in training – the cuts to polytech funding, the cuts to ESOL funding (how will people without English language ability find work?) and of course expressing satisfaction that student numbers are falling because of cuts to study costs for part-time students and limiting student allowances to undergraduates only.

    It is however generally a sound thing to boost investment in training and education when there is spare labour capacity. It prepares for the rehiring round and reduces the need to import skilled workers – easing pressure on roads and housing capacity. I don’t see why that should not include support to business to train workers on the job as part of industry training.

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  87. Bob R (1,377 comments) says:

    The only way to improve the situation is to offer contraceptive shots as part of welfare entitlements. Anything else will just exacerbate the problem.

    http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/contraception/contraception_depo.html

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  88. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    Top 6 priorities

    *Pass on child support to sole parents on benefits.
    *Warrant of fitness for rental housing.
    *Low-interest loans for low-income families.
    *Food in schools programme.
    *More teen parent units.
    *Social service hubs at schools and preschools.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10853201

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  89. Scott1 (552 comments) says:

    Low interest loans sounds like a bad idea. Don’t make it a tempting economic decision to burry yourself in debt then lend it to your friends at a profit…
    Or have some complex monitoring system about what they spend it on…

    instead – they should instead make good profits from them via fairly high interest loans vs the convenience and high confidence in getting the money back via direct deductions on their welfare payments… then -> win/win.

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  90. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Imagine if Clark’s government had done either of those, what redbaiter would have said?

    SPC,

    Red tends to overlook the authoritarian nature of the Singapore govt because it doesn’t gel with his message.

    Except when he’s not referencing Singapore. Then anything that comes within a whiff of impinging on his view of liberty is the work of evil, commie totalitarians, hellbent on destroying all that is good in people in their attempt to turn us all into unthinking, unquestioning [social] liberals, enslaved to the greater ‘good’ of the liberal ruling class elite.

    His ‘hordes’ of followers can be found on truebluenz (and apparently as sets of thumbs on whaleoil.co.nz.)

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  91. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    I completely support a universal allowance for kids, but why stop there? Why not a universal allowance for everyone regardless of status? We do it for over 65’s already, and it has been suggested here for children, so let’s just roll it out across the board and get rid of all the crazy marginal tax shenanigans, tax breaks and so on. Drop a flat tax rate on every bit of income earned to pay for it.

    The major benefit is that everyone is treated equally with respect to employment status – if you work you get to keep a constant portion of what you earn. If you don’t, then you have enough to get by until you get another job, and when you do get that job you’re not “penalised” by losing that “free” money from your peers.

    We’d still need some special benefits (the sickness benefit for example) for those that can’t work for other reasons but overall things would be greatly simplified.

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  92. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    “Labour. Greens. Mana and NZ First all voted for DPB beneficiaries to get an extra $60 a week for not working.”

    “Not working”???

    You haven’t raised any kids single-handsed have you DPF? I bet you wouldn’t have the balls to say that to Key’s face about his mother.

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