Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The 'P' Word

I'm extremely pleased by recent comments made by Steve Maharey on the issue of poverty in New Zealand.

The 'P' word was almost unutterable in the 1990s as the National government of the day persisted with the myth that there was no poverty in New Zealand. In fact, when Labour came to government in 1999, this sand in the head approach had become so entrenched that the incoming administration could not even ask the Ministry for qualitative information about poverty in New Zealand, because the research capacity of the Ministry in this area had been removed.

It's obviously a key test of any Labour government to address the needs of those at the bottom of the socio-economic heap, and the data referred to in Maharey's statement shows that a succession of policy initiatives since 1999 are successfully moving people out of poverty. We went from being one of the most equal, to one of the least equal societies in the developed world during the 1990s, and I am proud that due to measures like income related rents, and an active employment policy, this government is doing something to restore basic living standards for all New Zealanders.

A vote for a National government is a vote for a return to increasing levels of poverty in our communities.

Of particular note is the fact that the Working for Families package is projected to reduce child poverty by 30% within two years. I find it sickening that those on the political right who attack working for families would happily see those kids re-consigned to a life of desperate want.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well Michael your brilliant Government has just managed to cock up the Kyoto calculations by 1 billion bucks. Sadly we are 1 billion worse off. Tell that to those on the poverty line. I am sure they are really grateful to have Lefty Losers squandering hard won New Zealand dollars on a cruel and pointless crusade. You and your socialist mates just don't get it - Governments don't make moeny - they wrest it from the working classes of whatever hue. You have a duty to steward it not waste it. And you reckon they are not corrupt - they are beyond that - liars, cheats and duplicitous certainly fits. Abject failures fits well.

Anonymous said...

Environmental protection is a "cruel and pointless crusade"??
Goodness! Is this the 'spooks' of old I wonder?

What amuses me is that people of this ilk will often complain that the working classes pay very little income tax and that the tax burden is tragically, disproportionately borne by those allegedly more hard working and virtuous people on higher incomes.

Anonymous said...

In my case 'working classes' was an appreciatory term for those who actually work - either as an employer or an employee.

Anonymous said...

Hey Michael - good morning canvassing? Hope you told all the good people of Pakuranga that because your Government ratified the Kyoto protocol they have added $1.20 odd per LITRE to the price at the pump for for gas; once NZ starts writing out cheques to or eastern European countries who have actually got carbon credits. And another thing - Labour's actions have not altered global warming one jot. Tell everyone Michael

Anonymous said...

So without Kyoto petrol would be 9 cents a litre?! You don't let the facts dissuade, do you?

Anonymous said...

so by working class you include those people who would not be able to afford health and education without redistributive taxation?

Anonymous said...

People, people you seem to have such a problem with language - strange really when language is how socialists control the agenda. Read carefully what I wrote...I said the outcome of ratifying Kyoto was to "add" $1.20 per litre at the pump for gas- if I add $1.20 to $1.29 (say, using your number) I get $2.49 per litre - sobering isn't it. Many thanks for the chance to show you and the rest of the Socialist ostriches the lunacy of going it alone with Dear Helen on the mindless crusade. You would be better off putting a billion into looking at using non-fossil fuel sources of energy. Remember the billion tax will be an annual charge....a billion into a non-greenhouse gas emitting power generation source will be a one off.

Anonymous said...

And on redistributive taxes. Labour have shown nothing in terms of better outputs for the additional $3.5Billion thrown at health - just more bureaucrats. So worried is Cullen he is already warning that the funding cannot be maintained. Now if you gave those lower income people real choice at where they spend their health dollars you would get better and measurable outcomes. You know it works - I'll bet you shop around everyday - why is health and education any different. You just want those lower income people to be dependent and without any choice but Labour. Socialism in the West is finished - completely discredited. You are wasting your time here - you should go to Africa where your cronies are now lowering their sad schemes on a new set of victims. See how well the one party state is going in Zimbabwe. That's we want Clark out on her ear. She is the Mugabe of NZ - anihilates all opposition.

Anonymous said...

Your vision wouldn't work. In the free market, most working people would not be able to afford to have access to health and education services we take for granted now under the welfare state.


And let's just wait and see if petrol reaches $2.49 per litre before saying it has, shall we?

Anonymous said...

Well under any scenario the $1billion would be better spent in NZ - either given back to taxpayers or spent doing more hip and cataract operations. Whether petrol gets to $2.49 is immaterial - what is going to happen is NZ writing out a cheque in cold hard cash for $1-3billion to some country in Europe (portugal and estonia are candidates) for the privilege of adding to the world's greenhouse gas reseves. The reality is NZ did not have to do it. Labour ratified it because they thought it would increase their standing with their pink buddies at the UN (and assist with getting a job or two) while cynically (and somewhat ingnorantly) believing NZ would be a seller not a buyer. Hodgson himself that to not ratify meant burning multi billion dollar cheques. Fwits are so out of touch they are writing those cheques now. Any half wit, no more than half way across the eco scene in NZ would know we are not clean and green - we are far from it. This scenario was always on the cards. Our only saving grace is we have a shortage of people for the land we occupy...and plenty of sheep and cows. We scandalously abuse the environment - sending money to Portugal won't stop it.

michael wood said...

We will have to pay out around $1 billion in carbon credits because we will be polluting at a rate above that to which we have agreed to in an international convention, ratified by our Parliament.

I thought you right wingers liked the idea of living up to our responsibilities.

Anonymous, again you have misused the posting function to rant on the subject that you are obsessing over on a given day. I am about to post on this particular issue, so feel free to direct your comments on this issue in that direction. Again, if you want your own personal sounding board then show a bit of initiative and get your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Oh Michael - you are around, great - look forward to your posting. Make it orginal and not paste up a press release from the 9th Floor.

Anonymous said...

Michael - just so we are all clear - we are not paying out a $1billion in 'carbon credits' - we are paying it out in cold hard cash. This will come from tax payers - not the Government. A good reason why we are in the stuck is that the Labour Government (alone of all ratifying governments) decided to expropriate the carbon credits inherent in privately owned forests by nationalising them. The reaction was all so predictable - investment in new forests has dried up. Wouldn't you rather people invested in forests which creates jobs, and we had a $1Billion to put hip operations and cataracts. We are building infrastructure - Portugal's!

michael wood said...

The government could not "expropriate" carbon credits from forest owners, because they did not exist before Kyoto came into force. They are a creature of the Agreement, to which the government is a party.

Do you think that they should be held by government in the national interest, or by a giant US multi-national to trade and make profit from?

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