Welfare reforms

July 15th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Wide-ranging benefit reforms have come into force today, with beneficiary advocates voicing a mix of cautious optimism and criticism of the changes.

From today there are fewer benefit categories, as well as compulsory drug testing for jobseekers, sanctions for fugitive beneficiaries and stricter healthcare obligations for parents of young children.

A new way of dealing with hardcore beneficiaries will also be introduced, with the Government trumpeting the success of a pilot trialled in 24 Work and Income offices since October.

Work and Income says the results are “some of the best from any case management trial” in recent years, with 6000 of the 10,000 people in the pilot no longer on a benefit. More than half of those people found work, the rest opted out or cancelled benefits for reasons such as no longer meeting eligibility requirements.

Imagine if we can replicate that, on a larger scale.

The ministry also has a pilot planned in the next two months to get 2000 sickness beneficiaries with mental and physical disabilities into work, she said.

Few disabilities prevent someone from all work. They may prevent certain types of work, or full-time work.

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83 Responses to “Welfare reforms”

  1. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    This is a good thing, no one disputes.

    However it’s tinkering around the edges of the problems we have with public finance.

    Pension reform, now that’s the important problem.

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  2. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Good stuff!

    I wonder how many women will opt to have another baby instead of work.

    I know a few girls who i went to school with who have never worked. 37 years old. i suspect i will be seeing some “great news” facebook statuses!

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  3. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    There is one stand out factor in the growth of the welfare state, and that is the absence of shame.

    Both shame and pride have been virtually abolished by the intense application of propaganda pushing the destructive concept of moral relativity.

    The character of the average NZer has been corroded by this campaign and too many of us have become a collection of cringing cowards quite content to live off the efforts of our fellow men.

    Stop listening to the moral relativists. Restore pride and self respect in our citizenry and they will reject welfarism, rather than see it as a lifestyle choice.

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  4. Data (22 comments) says:

    “Few disabilities prevent someone from all work. They may prevent certain types of work, or full-time work.”

    You are absolutely right and it is good to see a positive attitude from an employer.

    Hopefully, you walk the talk and employ people with physical or mental disabilities on an equal basis with others.

    I am curious though, how many people with physical and mental disabilities work for your company, if you know?

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  5. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “There is one stand out factor in the growth of the welfare state, and that is the absence of shame.”

    Yip!

    Id rather change the name of the dept to something with charity in the title.

    Dime especially loves it when he hears people on the bludge saying things like “im waiting for next weeks pay”. No, you are waiting for the hand out we give you because you cant look after yourself.

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  6. Zebulon (114 comments) says:

    This is good. I don’t know why it has taken so long. Somebody in the Herald said that beneficiaries would rather take up drug dealing than face benefit cuts. An outrageous attempt to bite the hand that feeds. If they want to be drug dealers, throw them in jail where they belong.

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  7. duggledog (1,555 comments) says:

    Wake me up if they pass legislation requiring solo mums to support any further children they have whilst on the DPB themselves.

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  8. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Redbaiter are you referring to those in cash job work receiving benefits or those in work yet also receiving super as without shame.

    Or those with assets and wealth in trusts to remain eligible for WFF and student allowances for their children.

    Or the prevalence for economic management to place budget fiscal policy settings and inflation targets before full employment?

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  9. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Or the prevalence for economic management to place budget fiscal policy settings and inflation targets before full employment?” lol nice sentence comrade.

    As for the rest of your post – all of them.

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  10. questlove (242 comments) says:

    “There is one stand out factor in the growth of the welfare state, and that is the absence of shame.”

    I’d say that’s because people understand that the global recession has impacted on the job market and most people know at least someone who genuinely can’t find a job in this current tight job market.

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  11. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    As to the 10,000 figure.

    1. over 3000 found work.
    2. over 4000 remain on a benefit.
    3. nearly 3000 went of a benefit – some into study, some having undeclared cash jobs found the regime too tough to cope with while working, some went onto do cash jobs, some were and still are living off crime but were using a benefit receipt to hide this, others were partners of someone who had money (or became reliant on family and friends), some have resorted to crime, some have gone inside, some have gone onto the streets …

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  12. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “and most people know at least someone who genuinely can’t find a job in this current tight job market.”

    I dont. I know people that will only do certain jobs eg

    “i cant find a job”
    “signed up at maccas or burker king?”
    “IM NOT WORKING THERE!!”

    Apart from that, the only people i know on welfare are lazy westies from my youth. The same ones that havent worked since the early-90’s. I guess that recession had an effect.. then the dot com recession in the early 2000’s fucked them. now the big melt down. poor buggas just cant catch a break.

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  13. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “3. nearly 3000 went of a benefit – some into study, some having undeclared cash jobs found the regime too tough to cope with while working, some went onto do cash jobs, some were and still are living off crime but were using a benefit receipt to hide this, others were partners of someone who had money (or became reliant on family and friends), some have resorted to crime, some have gone inside, some have gone onto the streets …”

    awwww bless. they found it too tough? :(

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  14. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    The National Socialists who have already announced sterilisation for beneficiaries (and who knows for who else in the future)

    are simply creating a huge social under belly where statistics disappear conveniently for the govt due to the structured manufacturing crisis blaming good people for not working

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  15. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    I am referring to anyone who receives income from the earnings and labour of someone else.

    (Super should be that person’s own money in named accounts as it is in other countries not so debased by socialist politicians)

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  16. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, just saying what the circumstances may now be for those (near 3000) coping without a PAYE job or a benefit as income.

    Those who had cash jobs and a benefit, crime proceeds and a benefit and a working partner and a benefit were not entitled. This can be exposed when intensive case management becomes onerous.

    Some will prefer study – seek at least the prospect of some reward/good job for a greater effort at finding one.

    People go off benefits into prison all the time, many ex cons are long term unemployed.

    The problem is when loss of benefit means working the street, resort to crime, or losing ones housing.

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  17. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    These socialist jerkoffs and their calls for full employment.

    I know people who would invest millions in this country if it wasn’t for the political interference of idiots like SPC.

    The more poverty this country endures the more we can blame the idiot left for destroying investment.

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  18. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    So it is that those who call for full employment are to be blamed for the lack of it.

    And so it is that those who are without work are to be blamed for the lack of full employment.

    And the right wing prophet then boasts, the worse we make poverty the more we can blame them for it.

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  19. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    SPC – how fucking hard is it to stay on the benefit?

    you are suggesting there is an entire class of people who arent even up to that?

    i wonder how they got that way?

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  20. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, I have no idea as to the relative numbers involved – it is surprising that those who did this project do not either.

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  21. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    Work and Income says the results are “some of the best from any case management trial” in recent years, with 6000 of the 10,000 people in the pilot no longer on a benefit. More than half of those people found work, the rest opted out or cancelled benefits for reasons such as their benefit fraud finally being rumbled.

    Fixed that last little bit at the end.

    Otherwise, that is excellent! Almost two thirds of them gone. Thanks Paula!

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  22. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    Fluid employment is a vital functional part of a prosperous market.
    Without fluid employment you will have rampant wage inflation and eventually a market collapse, which will lead to mass unemployment and a stagnant market. Nobody wants this.
    What this legislation attempts to do is target the minority of unemployed who refuse to find work, ie the bludgers. These are the people who are long term unemployed and do not make up any part of a fluid employment market. They simply do not want to work, and thus, cost the country both economically and socially.
    The problem is, that the left does not recognise a fluid employment market is a healthy and stable part of a prosperous economy. It is what enables people to better themselves and increase their income. The left is to busy trying to socially engineer our attitudes and try make everybody equals, where really, we are all individuals.

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  23. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Kleva Kiwi a fluid job market can be better realised by extending the employers trial of an employee to an employees trial of employment. Then more people would leave jobs for another if they could leave it and qualify for the dole while looking for another and be more likely to go off the dole and try out jobs if they could return to the dole if the job was not a good fit.

    Under the current system the long term unemployed who cannot find work easily can risk being trapped in an unsuitable low paid job because they cannot return to the dole or leave it by finding another.

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  24. big bruv (13,886 comments) says:

    “I know people who would invest millions in this country if it wasn’t for the political interference of idiots like SPC.”

    Of course you do Redbaiter, of course you do.

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  25. Rajiv (30 comments) says:

    I am not in favour of generous and indiscriminate state hand-outs. But I think state must invest in its people so that they can become independent productive workers and taxpayers instead of becoming long-term burden.

    For example, on surface it sounds like a great policy to disqualify drug-addicts from accessing benefits. But drug-addiction in itself is the problem that needs to be addressed first. The drug addiction is beyond drug addict’s control. It has become a sickness.

    Cancelling benefit/living allowance of a drug-addict “cold turkey” is like cutting a sick person’s head off instead of curing the sickness. The right and common sense approach would be to identify beneficiaries who are drug addicts, put them on probation, make them go through detox, help them rehabilitate so that they can become productive and responsible citizens. Those who will not cooperate with the program to help them can have their benefit slashed. Simple.

    This should be the decent common sense approach, instead of issuing a populist press release: “9,799” dole-bludging drug-addicts’ benefits were slashed saving $32193818 of tax payers’ money. A SUCCESS!!!”

    If we as New Zealanders believe in the basic human decency then we should demand that our government (“National” or “Labour”) reflects it.

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  26. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    “Under the current system the long term unemployed who cannot find work easily can risk being trapped in an unsuitable low paid job because they cannot return to the dole or leave it by finding another.”

    I think most people will not buy into your statement. People who work in so called “unsuitable low paid jobs” are generally people who have no skills to offer or are looking for something to tie them over whilst better opportunities present themselves.

    In saying that, so called “unsuitable low paid jobs” tend to be jobs of little or zero skill and thus employees are rewarded accordingly.

    Your problem is, you want everyone to be paid enough to live life with the sense of entitlement you think everyone deserves. However, back in the real world, people just want to live beyond their means, and thus blame everyone else for their own shortfalls in achieving the means to live a lifestyle better than their current…

    This is an impossibility. Some people are simply to stupid or lazy (or both) to achieve wealth, thus expect it to be handed to them with little or no effort. These people are generally called “the left”

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  27. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    …can risk being trapped in an unsuitable low paid job because they cannot return to the dole…

    Trapped in a job! My heart bleeds for them! :-P

    Jesus wept.

    The only problem is attitudes like yours.

    If they can’t leave for anything better, then perhaps that job actually IS “suitable” for them…?

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  28. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    Its not all beer and skittles. I know three people who are currently without work. All intelligent, skilled, and all have good track records of work. They have lost jobs not because of their performance but for various reasons including closing downs, short term work places and just plain awful management.

    All three are having a challenge for job interviews etc. None have been on the dole.

    So what’s wrong here. Well according to a winz cat that I did work for the other day, one at least needs to go to a rest home and care for the elderly.
    So my friend (a young lady with good Quals who has worked since she was 14 years old but lost her full time job at Xmas), should now go and work in a rest home.

    My answer, so despite spending lots of her own money getting educated and always been in work you want her to become a low paid dummy.
    That’s my definition of slave labour. Which you may recall was actually outlawed so many years ago. Working for less than one can live on creates the poor and angry.
    According to this (you guessed it, Fat woman), cause she had gone down the dumb trail from bene to rest home worker to become a winz manager it’s what everyone should do.

    If the Nats did their job properly they would actually create the conditions for people to have real work instead of giving money to the brown brothers.
    And they would have allocated an unemployment benefit to people so that when they did hit tough times without a job they would have cover for that time. After all she has paid tax for about 8 years and never asked for anything in return..

    Like all the Nats. experiments with social welfare this will have mixed results and is ambulance at the bottom of Cook strait stuff.

    It ain’t Nation Building.

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  29. wf (441 comments) says:

    What’s an ‘unsuitable low-paid job’?

    Nearly everyone starts off in a low-paid job, which they consider unsuitable for the long term, and they get another ‘more suitable’ more highly paid job as soon as they can.
    Unless, of course, they have no ambition or desire to improve their lot in life, and there’s not much we can (or should) do about that. The economy needs people working at the low paid (suitable or not) jobs.

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  30. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    The left needs to pull its head in and realise that “employers” are not the enemy. This is the attitude from the now corrupt and defunct unions of a by gone era.

    Employers are people too. They are people who take the risks to better themselves, and in doing so provide employment for people who are not willing to take the risks. If, and it is a big “if” their business is successful, they will be rewarded accordingly. However, nobody is there to catch the unsuccessful business. We dont have business welfare in NZ. Why do the many people who risk it all not have a safety net to catch them if they fall? I mean the many who are to stupid to help themselves do, why not the few who try to help themselves? They are, at the end of the day creating the countries wealth and providing employment for the many.

    The left continually cries “what about me” all the time without taking the opportunity to help those who will actually help the people they pretend to represent.

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  31. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    At any rate, welfare should be administered with more control. Accommodation paid direct, food vouchers, pre payed power etc. If you want luxury’s ie sky, Internet, alcohol, a car etc then get a f**king job

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  32. wf (441 comments) says:

    And Viking2 I can’t see any disgrace in your friend working at a rest home as a temporary measure. She might like it. It might open up a new career path. Maybe she’d find looking after and interacting with old people more rewarding than sitting in front of a computer or shuffling paper.

    I think it’s confusing for young people- they think that getting a degree or advanced qualifications should guarantee them a well-paid job with endless career prospects. They feel entitled, but life doesn’t happen that way.

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  33. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Kleva Kiwi, I agree with you that fluid employment is vital for a prosperous market. You however do not want to allow the sort of fluidity that would place upward pressure on the wages of unskilled workers.

    I was just saying that what would deter a long term unemployed person from seeking what seemed unsuitable work was the prospect of being dependent on whatever job they got because unless they could find another (and they could not get the dole if they left it) they could never leave it. I wonder how many cleaners and care workers are in this position? Now, why are their wages and conditions appalling?

    Some argue that this is their natural place in the market, exploited in low paid onerous work with no prospect of any escape.

    I can see why National would promote a one sided market where employers can trial workers, but employees cannot do the same unless they can find another job. As for Labour, I suppose unions fear labour mobility as well as it is a means for the market to pressure employers to increase wages to retain workers without union involvement.

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  34. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    wf, the issue is not that the jobs need to be done but at what wage rate, the market system at present supports a surplus pool of labour being used to hold down wages and only MW increases are mitigating this. Thus more and more work is being paid at a little above the MW level.

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  35. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “I was just saying that what would deter a long term unemployed person from seeking what seemed unsuitable work was the prospect of being dependent on whatever job they got because unless they could find another (and they could not get the dole if they left it) they could never leave it.”

    Much easier to live off the hard work of others.

    “I wonder how many cleaners and care workers are in this position? Now, why are their wages and conditions appalling?”

    lol yeah like those cleaners earning 50 cents an hour and having to live on site in absolute filth. it really is awful. they get a bit of rice to eat and they just have to work.

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  36. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “wf, the issue is not that the jobs need to be done but at what wage rate, the market system at present supports a surplus pool of labour being used to hold down wages and only MW increases are mitigating this. Thus more and more work is being paid at a little above the MW level.”

    boo hoo. thats all they are worth.

    they are lucky the minimum wage isnt 5 bucks.

    take the hint. train. stufy. do something, anything. move up in the world.

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  37. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Kleva Kiwi, “those people too stupid or lazy (or both) to achieve wealth”, borrow to buy rental property – well those who do so without creating any do it that way.

    PS – care workers and cleaners do not work for employers who create wealth (well they earn fat profit margins off the work at the expense of the government and businesses that need their services).

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  38. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, they move up in the world by moving to Oz. Just like Filipinos do by coming here.

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  39. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    SPC – sweet. problem solved.

    if only it were so, my tax rate would be lower as i wouldnt be handing over hundreds of dollars a week to people on welfare

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  40. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, only a minority of people on welfare are work tested, even now.

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  41. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    tell me SPC. If you were dictator, what would you do? how would you solve all these problems you see? how would you make life easier for people who currently work in appalling conditions?

    what would you set the top tax rate at?

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  42. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, I would allow workers to leave jobs and go onto the dole, while they looked for new jobs.

    There are enough people looking for work (and the reward is sufficiently higher than the dole) that there are those on the dole who would do the job for a while at least. It would at least allow more unemployed people to be successful if obtaining a job, getting work experience and improving their economic circumstance through work.

    If the job was really bad then only the long term unemployed would be left to be offered it, then they would also get work.

    Rotating these jobs is better than someone being stuck in them because they cannot leave.

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  43. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    @ SPC:

    Why the hell should an unskilled worker in an unskilled job get paid more? What net gain does the economy, no skrub that! the individual get?

    There is then no incentive for the individual to better themselves. Prices increase as costs go up as the labour bill increases, and the net result is the so called underpaid are still in the same economic situation they where in, not able to afford all the luxuries more skilled workers can, but in addition, the middle class starts to be able to afford less.

    What net benefit to society and the economy does this gain? Nothing but a degeneration of middle New Zealand and increased inflation.

    Unskilled labour gets paid low wages because that is what the work is worth. If they don’t like it, then they should make better life choices and get off their ass and up-skill themselves.

    People are not entitled to anything more than they are worth.

    Now I have worked hard my life bettering myself. From filling supermarket shelves at 15 for $4.50 an hour to working now as a Professional on a modest salary. I came from a family of modest means that have always voted Labour. I recognised early how their ideological views of the left where the one thing that held them back from achieving better financial security. I do not envy those who earn more than me, nor did I when I was young. I looked at what they had and asked myself how can I achieve that. I did not have a sense of entitlement, I had the motivation to set a goal and better myself.

    So what, SPC, I ask you, has changed now that apparently calls for the have nots to have such a sense of entitlement?

    The sooner people of modest means realise that the Left is the biggest thing holding them back the better.

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  44. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    SPC – lol great message to send – not happy with your job darling? just quit and live off OPM! no need to stick something out. dont use your bad experience as a reason to improve yourself, just go on the dole and try out job after job until you find one thats awesome! they are out there! even though you have zero skills.

    youre about to go into the nutbar pile next to penny

    even communists expect their people to work for the greater good.

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  45. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Kleva Kiwi, the have-nots once had the expectation of living in a society of full employment where the MW was closer to the average wage than it is now. The sense of “entitlement/expectation” to a living wage and to home ownership is now lower than it has been for decades.

    And Kleva Kiwi, given MW workers do not consume cleaning and care services they face no costs from their wages going up. Business and government would.

    Demonstrably an increase in MW higher than the CPI increase leads to those on the MW being better off, the lack of an increase means they are worse off. The MW increased from $9 to $12 (2005-2008), that 33% increase has not been matched by the CPI increase from 2005 to 2013. And the MW is now $13.75, an increase of over 50% since 2005.

    Other workers have had wage increases higher than the CPI since 2005 also.

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  46. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, if you think more of the unemployed being rotated through the lowly paid jobs that do not require skills is worse than a few stuck in onerous jobs while others become long term unemployed you understand nothing about welfare dependency.

    And the one that workers will always prefer is the one closest to where they live, it reduces travel time and cost. Workers who travel to where the other lives to work is not in eithers best interest. Yet each are stuck in their jobs under the current system.

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  47. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    dime (6,707) Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    if only it were so, my tax rate would be lower as i wouldnt be handing over hundreds of dollars a week to people on welfare

    Unlikely.

    Benefits are about 6 billion. Total government spending is about 80 billion. So about 7.5%.

    Unemployment rate is about 6%. Hasn’t been far below 4% in thirty years. So assuming we cut unemployment by a third (and assuming this would also cut benefits by a third) we may roughly (and optimistically) calculate a savings of about 2 billion.

    Government deficit last year was larger than 2 billion IIRC.

    Besides, since when has saving money been a reason to reduce taxes? :)

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  48. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    SPC: please define full employment. Most economists don’t, I think, define it the way you appear to be.

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  49. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Kleva Kiwi, the have-nots once had the expectation of living in a society of full employment where the MW was closer to the average wage than it is now. ”

    whats this fascination with the minimum wage being close to the average wage?

    you make it sound like kids are being forced to leave school at 12 to become chimney sweeps.

    SPC – are you a chick?

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  50. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    I could note that labour mobility that allowed workers to more easily find jobs where they lived is going to save in transport cost, it would reduce need to reduce taxpayer investment in reducing congestion etc.

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  51. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    PaulL, in what context? Our full employment history was premised on virtual guarantee that school leavers would get a job. We were importing labour for factories.

    I do realise that full employment these days is assessed in different ways by different players – the RB Governor sees low unemployment as inflationary and so seeks to ensure that full employment of that kind cannot happen ever again. If it did occur the market would revalue unskilled labour up to where the Australians do and he will not allow this.

    The idea of a reserve pool being necessary for new job starts (those moving between jobs is overstated), it is really a support to downward pressure on wage levels and this has of course crushed unions.

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  52. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    dime, the constraint on MW increases has usually been seen as its relativity to the average wage.

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  53. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs/


    That robots, automation, and software can replace people might seem obvious to anyone who’s worked in automotive manufacturing or as a travel agent. But Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s claim is more troubling and controversial. They believe that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States. And, they suspect, something similar is happening in other technologically advanced countries.

    Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence, according to Brynjolfsson, is a chart that only an economist could love. In economics, productivity—the amount of economic value created for a given unit of input, such as an hour of labor—is a crucial indicator of growth and wealth creation. It is a measure of progress. On the chart Brynjolfsson likes to show, separate lines represent productivity and total employment in the United States. For years after World War II, the two lines closely tracked each other, with increases in jobs corresponding to increases in productivity. The pattern is clear: as businesses generated more value from their workers, the country as a whole became richer, which fueled more economic activity and created even more jobs. Then, beginning in 2000, the lines diverge; productivity continues to rise robustly, but employment suddenly wilts. By 2011, a significant gap appears between the two lines, showing economic growth with no parallel increase in job creation. Brynjolfsson and McAfee call it the “great decoupling.” And Brynjolfsson says he is confident that technology is behind both the healthy growth in productivity and the weak growth in jobs.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/sites/default/files/images/destroying.jobs_.chart2x910.jpg
    http://www.technologyreview.com/sites/default/files/images/destroying.jobs_.chart1x910_0.jpg

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  54. Rajiv (30 comments) says:

    YAWN……….

    Show me a naked chic. I don’t care if she is from Left or Right.

    Thanks.

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  55. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    SPC

    If you had any experience at not only trying to recruit, but manage employees at the bottom end of the pay scale you would understand why the prospect of full employment is a myth. You would understand that some people simply don’t want to work, and that some people who want to work can’t or can’t cope with the assumptions of responsibilities that would otherwise take them out of the bottom pay rates. The fact that agriculture and horticulture sectors import seasonal and permanent employees for relatively unskilled work is testament to that fact. None of this will change until those who simply can’t be fucked working are left with no other option, and those who have lost confidence through successive failure at genuine attempts to find work are supported by a process that ensures they continue to have a chance rather than giving up.

    As for this:

    And the one that workers will always prefer is the one closest to where they live, it reduces travel time and cost.

    Bad fucking luck. Plenty of people re-locate in their existing employment for all sorts of reasons (including employer re-structuring where they otherwise face the prospect of losing their jobs) or commute long distances. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for people being supported by the state. If they were to spend half a day travelling they would still be better for it.

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  56. holysheet (385 comments) says:

    Lets see how many of you know of someone who wants a job.

    I have a vacancy for a store man in the south Hamilton area. (male or female)
    37.5 hours per week $17.00 per hour
    forklift experienced or I will pay for the right person to get a FL licence
    suit an older person 50+
    need own vehicle to get to work, no public transport.

    ph me 021948877

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  57. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @SPC: full employment, from wikipedia:
    “Full employment, in macroeconomics, is the level of employment rates where there is no cyclical or deficient-demand unemployment.[1] It is defined by the majority of mainstream economists as being an acceptable level of unemployment somewhere above 0%. The discrepancy from 0% arises due to non-cyclical types of unemployment. Unemployment above 0% is seen as necessary to control inflation, to keep inflation from accelerating, i.e., from rising from year to year. This view is based on a theory centering on the concept of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU); in the current era, the majority of mainstream economists mean NAIRU when speaking of “full” employment. The NAIRU has also been described by Milton Friedman, among others, as the “natural” rate of unemployment. Having many names, it has also been called the structural unemployment rate.”

    Is that what you mean?

    My point here is that there are always unemployed. At a minimum there are those who are between jobs, perhaps through choice. That’s not real unemployment. There are also those who cannot work and are supported (in NZ) by the state. This includes many of those on disability benefits and ACC. Some of these I believe could work….but that’s a different argument. Then there are those who won’t work. In NZ these are also supported by the state, and we spend a lot of time trying to change this group into people who will work.

    Finally, there are those who want to work, have skills to work, but don’t have work available. I’m quite dubious that there are very many people in this category. Your comments on this thread don’t change my mind, as your comments seem to focus more on people who have work available but find that work to be beneath them or underpaid, so instead choose for others to pay them a benefit. I have a problem with that, and I don’t consider that to be somehow less than full employment. There has never been a time in human history where you can choose to not work because the work available doesn’t suit you.

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  58. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    thedavincimode, a labour immobility system that traps two workers in time and commuting cost is inefficient, it is not bad luck but system design that can be corrected. Why is 5 minutes of extra time for a business in transporting goods through traffic worth taxpayer investment in reducing congestion but the hours of time and unnecessary transport cost of employees is not valued in labour market settings?

    A less rigid labour market delivers the increased chance of finding work, so those seeking it are more likely to find it.

    The horticultural sectors seasonal work is not evidence of anything – employers get the best workers from those who return to the work each year, migrant workers provide the best source. Migrant workers are suited to the work. Those locals who do are likely to find permanent work elsewhere, thus not remain available and of course only at some times in the economic cycle is unemployment sufficiently high for there to be enough fit locals to do the work. Thus the best long term solution is to use migrant labour. It’s a constant.

    The farming work is a separate case. Clearly some of the farming areas do not have the young people prepared to do this work, I am not sure if this is just a dairy conversion thing in the South Island lamb farming areas or whether it is occurring in the Taranaki and Waikato as well. Clearly the idea of moving to on-site housing in rural areas is not attractive to urban workers – maybe they do not feel qualified for the work?

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  59. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    PaulL, so you believe that there are those who do not want to work and yet are dubious about how many of those on welfare want to work and who also have the skills to work.

    You are under a misconception as to my making any attempt to convince you of anything in that matter, I was simply advocating for a more efficient labour mobility regime.

    If I was, I would have already noted the fall in unemployment to very low levels in the 2007 period. Apparently quite a few people unemployed now had the will and the means/skill to work then.

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  60. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    “Kleva Kiwi, the have-nots once had the expectation of living in a society of full employment where the MW was closer to the average wage than it is now. The sense of “entitlement/expectation” to a living wage and to home ownership is now lower than it has been for decades.”

    Yawn. SPC no society in the world has every experienced full employment/zero unemployment (slavery excluded!)
    Only the left has manufactured this philosophy.
    The entire economy would collapse if this where to occur. Without a staple supply of workers wage inflation would outstrip profitability causing and economic collapse. Australian is experiencing some of this right now, but more for other reasons.

    Your fantasy land where there is no unemployment is a communist utopia, a utopia that is unachievable in any society where humans have any freedom of choice. Your hive mind world cannot happen.

    Again this manufactured “living wage” is hair brained propaganda from the left. Without defining any parameters or quantifying any measures you propose that xyz arbitrary number constitutes the minimum people need to survive and this is what they shall be paid. Well guess what, people get less now and still survive. they still purchase luxuries and nobody dies in New Zealand because they didn’t have enough money. One could just as easily produce a statement based on factual information saying the “living wage” is the equivalent of $3 an hour for a 40 hour week…

    If you try and artificially close the “wage gap” by raising minimum wage, it will just widen further, as once you start defining the minimum income one can receive, the market adjusts to maintain liquidated gaps and inflationary pressures re-adjust the market to suit.
    The only thing you have achieved is devaluing the currency as inflation rises.

    Without creating a maximum wage, or fixing income for given jobs, you can never “close the gap” by raising the minimum.
    What you can do is up-skill your work force creating a more skilled labour force which is worth more.
    Yes. Some people ARE worth more than others. This is a FACT. That is why the get rewarded with higher income.

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  61. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Yes, I do believe there are those who do not want to work, because I know some of them.

    I am also dubious that there are those who want to work and cannot find work, because I have seen jobs that are available. I know people who had difficulties with jobs that had unreasonable requirements like expecting people to turn up at work at 8:30am each day, for example. And that expected that you wouldn’t go out boozing during the week and fail to turn up to work the next day.

    I didn’t anywhere suggest that you were trying to convince me of anything. I just was pointing out that I’d read your comments and they seemed mainly to focus on a concept of people having “suitable” work. My view being that if you have more than 1 job available, you can pick the one more “suited.” But if you have only one job available, then that’s the one you do. It’s not OK to rely on others to pay for your choice to not work.

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  62. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    PaulL, And I was arguing that labour mobility is preferable, it delivers more job opportunity and ensures workers will be more likely to have preferable jobs than otherwise. This has positive impact in reducing time and cost of transport to work – freeing money for other things, an economic advantage. Reducing the number of people in longer term unemployment has positive benefits for society as well.

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  63. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    And Kleva Kiwi, given MW workers do not consume cleaning and care services they face no costs from their wages going up. Business and government would.

    So if the supermarket’s costs go up 10%, you think that won’t affect the cost of groceries that a ‘MW worker’ hopefully buys?

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  64. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Kleva Kiwi, full employment can be achieved and was in closed national economies (1960’s/70’s New Zealand) and labour shortage problems were resolved by import of PI labour for factories.

    The same can be done now in the global economy and is whenever we have domestic shortages we cannot fill we use migrants – seasonal, dairy, medical, IT etc and workers for the rebuild.

    The constraint on resort to this is population pressure on housing supply and other infrastructure.

    And given New Zealand increased the MW by over 50% 2005 to 2013, inflation problems with increasing it are overstated. That said the constraint on increasing it on and on a suitable relativity to the average wage and a lot of economic research has been done on this point.

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  65. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    labrator, and how much did supermarket prices go up when the MW increased from 9 to $12 over 3 years 2009 to 2012?

    Do you really believe that a checkout person’s pay has a large influence on the cost of buying a product in a shop?

    Let me guess you have never costed any service/any product from beginning to end.

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  66. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Yes SPC, you did argue all those things. And everything else being equal I have no problem with people taking jobs closer to home than further away.

    It’s just not entirely clear to me how you propose to achieve that, other than by allowing people to choose to stop working and move onto the benefit any time they wish. I’m not sure that’s a reasonable thing to do.

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  67. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    “I am referring to anyone who receives income from the earnings and labour of someone else.”

    I didn’t know you were a Marxist

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  68. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    PaulL, it’s not unreasonable when there are people on the dole (they and others) who will have to look for work and take up offer to do work. Thus there is no extra welfare cost. Jobs that are available are then shared around and people cannot stay as long on benefits without finding work. Thus reduces the welfare dependency that impacts on work capacity. People will stay in jobs closer to where they live, the ones they want to stay in.

    The current system can trap people in long commutes while others cannot find work and lose work capacity.

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  69. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    my 5.32pm post should have said the years 2005 to 2008

    labrator, and how much did supermarket prices go up when the MW increased from 9 to $12 over 3 years ‘2005 to 2008’?

    Do you really believe that a checkout person’s pay has a large influence on the cost of buying a product in a shop?

    Let me guess you have never costed any service/any product from beginning to end.

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  70. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    Auckland house building activity is rising but unemployment remains high.

    Geoff Cooper, Auckland Council’s chief economist, said 4764 residential building consents were lodged in the March year.

    “While that’s down from the 10-year average of 6631, it is up from the year-earlier figure of 3976. This represents the early stages of a construction upswing in Auckland, which will need to continue before house prices ease,” he said.

    But lack of job growth continues to weigh on Auckland’s recovery as unemployment remains high at 7.3 per cent.

    http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/201329/unemploymentCC_460x230.jpg

    A queue of applicants waiting for job interviews at an Auckland supermarket. Lack of job growth continues to weigh on Auckland’s recovery. Photo / Christine Cornege

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  71. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    HMMM, well I struggle with dime’s hypocrasy.
    On the one hand he is blathering on about his importing business and how well he is doing bringing in product, some of which will be replacement product for what was once made here. All justified by the argument that its cheaper.
    So Jobs gone.

    Then in the next breath he is busy castigating those Kiwi’s born and bred who are unable to find a meaningful job because he and his ilk have decided that employing a Chinese worker at peanut rates is more satisfactory than employing a Kiwi worker. The irony of which seems to escape both dime and many others as they hand over their tax to support Kiwi’s who want to work but are unable to find a job that is meaningful to them.

    Now I’m not blaming dime, for its business but really we should be careful about being two faced.

    If you want cheaper goods then the quid pro quo is unemployment for Kiwi’s, unless of course dime see’s it also a responsibility to counter that situation by manufacturing something here in NZ to export.

    Consider it this way. How much of the foreign exchange that dime uses to purchase imports do he and his customers actually earn from exporting?

    So dime when are you going to invest in a new business within NZ that produces for export?
    (instead of overinflating house prices in Auckland. :lol:
    Good Question!

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  72. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    SPC. You are either naive or ideologically blinded (or both)

    What you propose has never happened in NZ, and will never happen, as it is an impossibility.

    The moment NZ gets close to achieving so called zero unemployment, the market would have already reacted and wage prices would have increase, but then so would inflationary pressures.

    In this scenario, a few things would happen. NZ would become THE migrant destination of the world, where we would get cheaper labour flooding in and thus creating unemployment as employers no longer have to compete for unskilled workers.
    And/Or
    The price of mechanisation/robotics would be cheaper than menial labour and thus unskilled workers would be replaced by machines
    And/Or
    Employers (especially manufacturers and value added industries) would all relocate offshore to remain competitive in their given industries.

    Any economy, for it to work, requires a pool of unemployed for employment to remain fluid. If you have a job that is not at risk from you under preforming in your role due to no replaceable labour force, then workers will become lazy and complacent driving down productivity and standards, destroying the economy. Thankfully, the market will react well before this happens.

    What you propose is simply an impossibility, nor is it desirable. What you dont get is
    Unskilled workers are currently paid what they are worth ie sweet f**k all
    If you want to do better in life then get off your lazy ass and do something about

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  73. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Viking2 (9,714) Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    HMMM, well I struggle with dime’s hypocrasy.
    On the one hand he is blathering on about his importing business and how well he is doing bringing in product, some of which will be replacement product for what was once made here. All justified by the argument that its cheaper.
    So Jobs gone.

    Jobs gone?

    If it is cheaper then customers get the same value for less expense. The difference saved can stimulate demand elsewhere in the economy thereby creating jobs.

    Free trade is nothing new and the unemployment rate was less than 4 percent just a few years ago. Your conclusion therefore seems more an assumption than empirical fact.

    Then in the next breath he is busy castigating those Kiwi’s born and bred who are unable to find a meaningful job because he and his ilk have decided that employing a Chinese worker at peanut rates is more satisfactory than employing a Kiwi worker.

    I agree with those that say you should find “a” job before you start expecting something “suitable” or “meaningful”.

    If you want cheaper goods then the quid pro quo is unemployment for Kiwi’s

    Nothing they can do better than third world workers? After all that free education, and interest free student loans and other assistance… they still can’t offer anything more than the peasant who moves to the city to sleep under their sewing machine before the derelict building collapses on their head?

    Personally I find these one of those pointless discussions. The left is right that not everyone who seeks assistance is of bad character. The right is correct that many of them just don’t want to work or to change their lifestyles to accommodate work. But personally I do not see that there is anything you can do about it. There will always be a dysfunctional minority and you manage it best you can. You aren’t going to solve your tax problem or fix unemployment by trying to fix the unfixable.

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  74. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Kleva Kiwi, clearly you have never studied our economic history. We are an island, there are no economic migrants who get in without our consent.

    And with a stroke of a pen, the value of MW labour went from 9 to $12 in 3 years and there was little wage inflation then or since. Why could the market adjust so easily after all unemployment went down while the MW increases were occurring?

    You say what happened, could not happen, yet it did.

    No local labour mobility is an alternative to a pool of reserve labour. The pool of reserve labour is as much offshore as onshore – used in seasonal work, on farms and now in the rebuild.

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  75. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    “…..Both shame and pride have been virtually abolished by the intense application of propaganda pushing the destructive concept of moral relativity…..The character of the average NZer has been corroded by this campaign and too many of us have become a collection of cringing cowards quite content to live off the efforts of our fellow men…….”

    And I might add Redbaiter:

    They then become more and more depraved, afterall, when the DPB and unemployment benefits first came in we never had the level of child neglect, personal neglect, drug taking, shameless whoring, ect…….these followed the introduction of welfare.

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  76. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Harriet, there were whores before there was welfare. London in the 19th C had its share.

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  77. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    It’s not referred to as the oldest profession for nothing.

    Drug taking has also been around basically forever… putting aside that alcohol is excluded from Harriet’s consideration, opium, morphine and heroin enjoyed considerable use in the late 19th and early 20th century. You could purchase limited amounts without a prescription provided it was labelled properly.

    In those days we simply let people develop an addiction. Now we lock them in prison to compound the social destruction.

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  78. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    It’s comforting to know there are three things upon which you can rely.

    Death, taxes and Tory governments putting the boot into beneficiaries.

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  79. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    how much did supermarket prices go up when the MW increased from 9 to $12 over 3 years ’2005 to 2008′?

    You’ve not heard of liquidity then? Then you are arguing for closed borders zero unemployment totalitarian control, so that would fit.

    Do you really believe that a checkout person’s pay has a large influence on the cost of buying a product in a shop?

    So in your supply chain, the only minimum wage worker is the checkout guy. The people above them are happy to work for the same amount of money once the people below them get pay rises. And then when minimum wage goes up again, everyone above them is happy to now be on minimum wage too. We’ll just keep putting up the minimum wage and everyone will eventually be on it…

    Let me guess you have never costed any service/any product from beginning to end.

    I love it when theorists take pot shots. Great talking to you.

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  80. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    SPC

    Work is habit-forming. The discipline of actually having to get out of bed in the morning, tie your own shoe laces, and learn that you can do something useful that you can build upon outweighs your traffic inconvenience.

    Migrant, agricultural and horticultural work isn’t “different”. It’s work.

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  81. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    SPC: I think you’re dealing with what’s known as the lump of labour fallacy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy

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  82. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    “And with a stroke of a pen, the value of MW labour went from 9 to $12 in 3 years and there was little wage inflation then or since. Why could the market adjust so easily after all unemployment went down while the MW increases were occurring?”

    Wait what? So your saying that when minimum wage was increased by 33% over three years it had basically no effect on the economy?

    For starters, the minimum wage was raised from $9 to $12 over 4 years, changes being enforced from April 2004 to April 2008, so get your facts straight first. http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/pay/minimumwage/previousminimum.asp

    The biggest annual changes correspond with the market immediately reacting with inflation increases http://www.rateinflation.com/inflation-rate/new-zealand-historical-inflation-rate?start-year=2004&end-year=2008

    The range changed from 1.5-2.5% pre Labour Minimum wage changes to the 3-4$ bracket during the increases.

    You claim no wage inflation over that period? So you are saying that the thousands of workers that where earning a fair % above minimum wage where happy to end up on minimum wage with all the unskilled labour that was previously earning less? I think you are away with the fairies mate

    As many have mentioned here increasing the minimum wage puts pressure to increase those that are earning more before the increase, and these cost flow on to the consumer as the business seeks to recoup wage cost, or simply they trim down on the number of staff leading to more unemployment.

    Maybe you need to learn a little about NZ economic history, only this time, do it from a rational view and not a rose tinted “left look”

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  83. Honeybadger (209 comments) says:

    holysheet (112) Says:

    July 15th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    holysheet, I would be interested to know if you had any replies to the post you made offering work?

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