I took this screenshot on Thursday and immediately shared on Twitter where I do a lot of political commentry (@vlcnz) not as an attack of Newland Burling & Co but because it was a perfect snapshot of how the Accomodation Supplement changes in the budget would be seen by many in the property investment market. The post appeared on NB&Co’s Facebook page within hours of last Thursday’s announcement.
AS is additional income support for people on the lowest incomes, available only to beneficiaries/pensioners and those in low income work. From memory it runs at approximately $2 billion annually. It does not pay a person’s full rental costs, but it provides a nominal amount per week, dependent on the area you live to assist with housing costs. Some believe it artificially keeps rents at the lower end of the market high as it masks the reality that beneficiaries and low income would not be paying rent at this level without it.
So it comes as no surprise today to learn from RadioNZ’s Jane Patterson that the government’s own advice told them an increase in AS would see rent rises, despite the government denying this would happen. While the post from NB&Co was jarring, you can’t fault them for being honest, unlike our government.
But you can vote them out in September…just saying.
Lets see how long this comment lasts on @NZNationalParty farewell John post on their FB page #nzpol #hfee https://t.co/SayvhFNh1s
So a few peeps have been asking me ‘how can they trust the Labour Party to not raise the retirement age when the party had voted to do just that in the past, even campaigned on it?’ Surely this is a flounder like flip flop of flat fish proportions right?
I won’t pretend I know exactly what’s going on, because I don’t, but I’ve had a quick look at some news articles from when they idea was first floated until now, so I’ll share this: from what I can tell Labour has held the position of raising the retirement age from since Phil Goff days, and mostly in response to the government suspending taxpayer contributions to the SuperFund (Cullen Fund). The SuperFund was designed to help address future universal super costs by annually funding a percentage of it future payments via investment in income producing assets.
However, when set up in 2003, and to serve its intended purpose, the fund required a commitment from future governments of comprehensive funding until 2020. The funding forecast ensured the fund had the necessary capital to make the required investments it would need to grow the fund to a state where it would be able to do the job it was tasked with. This is not happening and hasn’t been since 2009. To a lesser, but not insignificant degree, the government’s tinkering with Kiwisaver has already wiped money from people’s retirement accounts, meaning the numbers needing rather than merely opting to draw super in later years is likely to increase, ergo keeping overall costs high.
In light of the government’s seemingly willful blindness to the importance of funding the SuperFund, David Parker argued in 2014 for the Labour Party to retain Goff’s raising the retirement age plank as part of their retirement policy. Labour’s policy sought to signal to the country that in the complete absence of any other motivations to address future super costs under National, the age of entitlement would have to be the first cab off the rank for future governments desperate for solutions. Parker, like Goff believed if raising the retirement age was to become inevitable if National stayed in government, then it was important to signal to voters the date the age would have to start to moving up decades out, not years like what we saw in the 1990s when the age moved from 60 to 65 years over 10. Labour’s policy mirrored the Retirement Commissioner’s recommendation of reaching the increased retirement age in twenty years by 2033, thereby giving people an opportunity to consider alternative options, ie upskilling, increasing Kiwisaver contributions, private pension schemes, commercial investments.
Not contributing to the SuperFund from 2009 has cost New Zealanders up to $20 billion in contributions (ie capital to invest) and up to $50 billion in income producing assets. Meanwhile the government has drawn down $11 billion in dividends, leaving even less money for the fund to re-invest. SuperFund is a high performing asset, for context it is New Zealand’s biggest tax payer. In contrast, National want to increase the retirement age to save $4 billion in 2040.
Labour leader Andrew Little argued the maths vs the values of a fair society didn’t stack up and said as much during his leadership bid. He campaigned to keep the retirement age at 65 and democratically party members voted to back his call. A call that says, I believe in a future Labour government once again making retirement funding an immediate and pressing issue that needs addressing now – not in 2040 when Bill’s 85, and comfortably numb on his government paid MP pension.
“Within the space of two terms of office we have put an end to decades of turmoil during which New Zealanders struggled to prepare for retirement while politicians kicked superannuation around like a football.
We have now stabilised the long term funding of the basic state pension so that it will remain a secure bedrock for all New Zealanders. And this year we have introduced a savings scheme that will place an achievable programme of retirement savings within the grasp of every working New Zealander.
We are giving New Zealanders a tangible stake in their future, and ensuring that that future is a solid one.”
—– Michael Cullen, Labour Government, 2005
So here we are in 2017 suffering from successive right governments unwilling to do the necessary funding to support future super costs, now claiming, like that other ship that couldn’t be turned Margaret Thatcher, we have no alternative…
T.I.N.A my …..
* Please note: no flounder were harmed in the making of this opinion/comment *
Today I met a young guy in Kaitaia whose life experiences replicate the story of this gang member, and which saw him go to prison and find an escape in “P”.
The sexual and physical abuse of boys is under-reported and misunderstood.
I support Ken Clearwater who in this video says there needs to be more research on the sexual abuse of males.
Failure to address the sexual abuse of boys will see New Zealand continue to raise angry young men who struggle to live to their potential and are often likely to end up in prison hurting many others along the way.
This just fuels the call of certain sectors of society to lock more people up. Building more prisons is not a pathway to economic, cultural or social success.
Sexual abuse is most likely to be perpetrated by someone a boy knows, loves and should be able to trust.
We need more men to speak out about sexual violence.
out with the old …
and in with the new …
Picking John Key will not return to parliament after the Christmas break citing ongoing family reasons, triggering an earlier than expected general election next year.
If what John Key says is true, he might not have much left in the tank, but politically he has left the National Party with plenty in theirs – for now. They will need to use it wisely or they could face running out of steam in the next twelve months and find that capital is not there when they need it most. Better to kick Key to the curb now when he can bow out with relatively not much fuss after Christmas, giving the new prime minister a a fair suck of the election sav’.
A costly by-election can be avoided if a general election is held within 6 months of a minister resigning, and the writ (the notice of the election date) receives 75% support of the parliament. That could mean an election could be held in the first half of 2017.
If there really is a Santa in the House, they’d bring me this for Christmas.
“Don’t worry @johnkeypm, Kelvin Davis has a strong track record of helping out NZ citizens who are stuck in Australia against their will” – @lukeurmyson
All Kiwis want … 2016 update
“…and a Prime Minister who didn’t lie to a government investigation in his twenties”
Who cares if you are a slut, not a slut, want to be a slut, or couldn’t give a rats either way. You’re perpetuating the stupid demonising that has sought to control female sexuality for thousands of years by moralising and denying women autonomy over their own vaginas. If you think been a slut is a bad thing, an insult, then you are enabling the problem, not particpating in the solution, let alone challenging it *sigh*
I wonder what 55 year old John would say to 29 year old John about telling porkies to government departments? Happy Birthday John, oink oink.
Name: John Key
You too can wish John a happy birthday here.
Don’t forget to share this page with your followers and friends, so they can wish John all the best too.
The attitude that excuses the behaviour of young men in the presence of a female stripper is the same attitude that excuses the behaviour of a flamboyant sporting hero sexually harassing a female journalist on live TV. It’s the same attitude that excuses that labelling of prepubescent girls as ‘sluts’ for wearing ‘short skirts’, or that expects the rape victim could have done more to protect herself from been raped. The Chief’s franchise would do well to ensure their players understand this attitude is repugnant and unnecessary, long before those players ever pick up a rugby ball in the Waikato’s name #notmyteam #notourmen #Chiefs
This will be the line of the day when John Key and his band of merry bigots are finally out of office.
I don’t want political leaders shrugging off the stances they’ve taken with throw away lines like this. Happy to send our men and women to fight, then ‘meh’ response when that choice shown to be greatly flawed.
Plenty of leaders stood tall and said no to going with Bush’s batshit coalition of the dimwitted. Our leader at the time was one of them. Key’s response was to wank on about how this would affect our free trade with the dim.
No care about the ethics of going to war and the potential for the mass killing of civillians and destroying a country, let alone ordering other peoples’s sons and daughters to carry it out.
Bodies for $$’s and a pat on the head from the US.
Great post DP
I imagine New Zealand’s going to keep calm over this, will send sheep.
Saudi Arabia ‘jails man for telling the truth’ about work conditions :
” …a sense in which Andrew Little is responsible is that he has been part of a campaign of deliberate lies… It is very sad that an opposition party would [behave] so dishonestly…”
Given John Key’s entire tenure as prime minister is built on lies, this from Matthew Hooton over at The Dimpost’s comment section is somewhat ironic, and insulting.
In October 2008 as the then opposition leader, Key maintained his 1991 statement to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into failed corporate high-flier Equiticorp and it’s fraudulent H-Fee transactions with Australian corporate giant Elders IXL, was accurate. But his well documented relationship with infamous New York based Bankers Trust currency raider Andrew Krieger says otherwise.
We know Key worked with Krieger, this was confirmed in great detail by hi Bankers Trust boss Gavin Walker* in February 2008. Telling media Key knew everything Krieger was executing across the Auckland Bankers Trust’s branch’s trading desk; indeed looking after Krieger was part of Key’s job description. Key himself has said he can still recall his first phone call with the trader, saying Krieger asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and it’s monetary supply.
We can also be sure Key was at his previous firm Elders Merchant Finance on 17 August 1987, as he filmed for Close Up’s “Big Dealers” episode on that day. What we know of Krieger is that he resigned from Bankers Trust on 23 February 1988. His resignation is well documented, having been reported in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and later in Krieger’s own book, ‘The Money Bazaar’.
To have worked with Krieger, which there is no doubt, Key needed to have left Elders Merchant Finance to start with Bankers Trust sometime after 17 August 1987 but before Krieger’s 23 February 1988 resignation date.
Therefore Key’s statement to the Equiticorp inquiry in which he told investigators he left Elders Merchant Finance for Bankers Trust on 31 August 1988 can only be a lie. His insistence to voters in October 2008 that his statement was entirely accurate can only be another one.
Lying to an SFO investigation carries a maximum $15,000 fine or twelve months jail, more for conspiring to mislead, and I think any investigation would find that’s exactly what Key (and his ex-Elders colleague Paul Richards**) did.
Time to go John.
* Gavin Walker, current Chair, Board of Guardians of New Zealand Superfund
** Paul Richards, current head of Foreign Exchange Distribution, UBS, North America
In her Herald on Sunday column this week Heather Du Plessis-Allan suggested some silly people came along to last Thursday’s anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) protests and ruined everything, and now the country will never want to talk about free trade ever again – because, well – bad protesters. I imagine a ‘good protester’ to Du Plessis-Allan is someone who quietly marches waving an inoffensive placard, in an inoffensive way, accompanied by an inoffensive chant, asking to have an inoffensive conversation, with some inoffensive people – someone, who even Mike Hosking’s so-called “regular New Zealanders” could give their inoffensive nod of approval too.
Guess what guys, the revolution was never meant to be inoffensive, nor something easily slotted in between a pedicure and picking the kids up at three. Protesting, by its nature, is an inconvenience. If it doesn’t make the viewer uncomfortable it is not doing its job. Also protesting, or the right to protest, is a democratic right in our country – we literally go to war in other countries to afford their peoples the same rights. Let that sink in for a minute. While the boys and girls of our Fourth Estate reduce serious issues to ‘silly protesters’ and ‘traffic inconveniences’ – we send men and women to potentially die in foreign lands to give or to restore to a foreign citizen, their right to protest and inconvenience their governments. The very same rights it would seem that some people here would rather we didn’t have.
I don’t want to watch, or read, or hear another talking head whine about protesting “riff-raff” and “rent-a-crowd”. I want to watch, read, and hear them instead discuss the issues being protested, for, or against. Let’s not forget some media personalities are paid very well to do this, so why are they still struggling with the fundamentals of our democracy and getting away with it? Let alone being paid for that struggle? If Hosking for example can’t figure it out, please someone dear god explain it to him, and please let that someone not be Toni Street. Every time we allow important conversations to be derailed by lowest common denominator sound bites churned out to even lower common denominator audiences, we do New Zealand a disservice. We do our kids a disservice.
Not just content with sticking the knife into ‘bad protesters’ for giving protesting a bad image and turning people off talking about the TPPA, Du Plessis-Allan claims their actions single-handedly sent “ordinary people” – which I can only assume is Du Plessis-Allan ‘speak’ for Hosking’s “regular New Zealanders” – into the moderate and welcoming arms of the TPPA proponents. Really? Do we have evidence of this? Or is this something Du Plessis-Allan made up because she had a 500 word limit to fulfil? If so-called “ordinary” New Zealanders don’t understand the TPPA as she alleges and a bunch of protesters can scare them off, then that’s not the fault of the protester, that’s her fault, she is the journalist after all.
What has she done the past eight years to elucidate the masses? She derides and ridicules protesters for their ignorance in the face of a knowledge vacuum, but lets her so-called “ordinary people” and Hosking’s “real New Zealanders” off the hook, despite their own very obvious ignorance due to the same information void. The TPPA came out of the last decade when the United States wished to join the four country Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP) – so it has literally been a thing since January 2008. Why are we so ignorant to this agreement eight years on? Why are people fearful of not just it but many of its clauses? Can our broadcasters really say they’ve done their very best to give people not just credible, but also the factual information they would need to have to take a well-rounded position on it? I don’t think so.
It seems a major goal in the TPPA debate for some time now has being to avoid pushing for answers on contentious provisions in the agreement from the negotiating Executive, and instead drill non-negotiating opposition parties on their stance. Demanding to know if they are anti-free trade for example, because they, inexplicably it seems to some media, dare to question parts of the agreement while supporting others. For some, it’s like the media are fighting the fire in the letterbox while behind them the house burns. No wonder people are scared and effectively screaming at their screens, and now screaming into our screens, at the journalistic equivalent of the horror movie victim not heeding our warnings to ‘look behind’ them. If people for, against and everything between, are still ignorant of this agreement this late in the game, some feeling anxious, desperate and fearful, then someone’s not doing their job – or someone else is doing their job too a little too well.
On Radio New Zealand last week, ex Labour Party politician and Speaker of the House, Margaret Wilson, now Professor of Law and Public Policy at University of Waikato said this of the protesters and their perceived ignorance,
“Why they’re bothering is that somehow or another people feel they have to express to their government their feelings about both [the] process [of the TPPA], and [the] content in many ways as well, because they haven’t had any other opportunity to do so. In New Zealand’s constitutional arrangement, [protest] is the way in which the people, the only way really, substantially, [that people can] communicate directly [with the Executive].”
Du Plessis-Allan though bless her, hopes middle New Zealand will stay strong in the face of inconvenient protests and inner city traffic jams, and no matter how tedious, carry on the apparently newly started, but nevertheless important TPPA conversation. It’s almost like Du Plessis-Allan has only just realised the importance of it, let alone known that some of us have being desperately screaming out for us to have this conversation for some time. See what I did there Heather?
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy
Like it or not dear reader, the thousands of protesters who turned up last Thursday, and the many people who wish they could have, are not the people who need their actions questioned right now.
Viva la revolution.
Love him or hate him, but National’s Economic Minister Steven Joyce seems to be taking the dildo attack by TPPA protester Josie Butler at Waitangi today, on the chin, literally:
“Someone send the gif over to John Oliver so we can get it over with..”