Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

A group of artists are continuing the conversation Metiria Turei MP started – demanding a more compassionate social welfare system. They asked artists who have been on a benefit in NZ (DPB, sickness, invalids, jobseeker, whatever) to draw a picture of themselves, and write a couple of sentences next to it about their experiences.Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 8.46.38 PM
“I used to fear taking my baby to 

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by Daphna Whitmore

I’m a big fan of rail and will bore anyone who will listen to me about the joy of no longer owning a car in Auckland. I walk five  minutes from home to a train station and travel happily free from the nightmare that is Auckland gridlock.  Auckland as a city for humans needs more electric trains and light rail.

Labour’s plan for transport in Auckland has just been announced and has unashamedly been lifted from the pages of Greater Auckland (formerly TransportBlog). The people from Greater Auckland have done a huge amount of research and have been putting the case every day since 2015 for a world class public transport system in Auckland. It is good to see their ideas being adopted.

What is not great is that Labour will introduce a regional fuel tax to raise money for the programme. This flat tax will mean more indirect taxation, and is inherently anti-working class. Again Labour’s fake concern for the poor is on display.

Auckland’s gridlock is said to cost $1.9b a year in lost productivity. That is a loss for businesses. For the workers stuck in traffic it is a loss in precious time and a loss of enjoyment of life. Labour will lift the financial loss from businesses and have it borne by the people in cars.  (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

povertyA big new research project has been launched by the government. Called “A Better Start – E Tipu e Rea“, it is to run for ten years, with $34 million funding to “improve the potential of young New Zealanders to have a healthy and successful life”.

It will focus “on those tamariki most at risk of obesity, learning and mental health problems – those for whom we can make the most difference. These are Māori, Pacific and poorer children, who carry an unfair burden … Māori and Pacific communities are helping to design, execute and interpret our research in a way that is culturally right for them.”

While giving a nod to poverty being a factor, will the researchers get to the heart of the economic system?

Will they tackle the fundamental causes of inequality and consider who creates wealth and who gets it under capitalism? Will they establish why the majority of people earn only modest incomes and why there is a chronic shortage of jobs? In other words, will the research expose the capitalist disparity-creating system? (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

On the eve of Waitangi Day thousands of people marched in protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Many Maori took part believing the TPPA will undermine indigenous rights. That protest was expected to spill over into Waitangi Day events, but with John Key staying away from Waitangi the annual February 6 protests have been muted. That left Steven Joyce to take one for the team and cop a flying sex toy.

waitangi2016

Despite Maori economic assests worth over $40billion, Treaty settlements have not ended Maori deprivation and poverty. (more…)

by Don Franks

“What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand, a tough capital gains tax to drive local speculators and investors out of the housing market and a massive state house building programme to meet the housing quality and affordability crisis where it’s having its most devastating impact – on low income New Zealand tenants and families”.

propertyThe author of the above is long-serving left activist John Minto, writing in The Daily Blog on July 13th “National playing the reverse card on housing”.

I think John is wrong here and his main proposition, actioned, can cause workers nothing but trouble.

I don’t have a problem with John’s second and third points – although, frankly, this side of a socialist revolution they’re just rhetoric.

“Driving local speculators and investors out of the housing market” has a nice Jesus cleansing the temple ring, but so long as private property is lawful, capitalists will be capitalists.

A massive state house building programme for low-income families sounds worthy and decent, but which builder will sign up for it while better returns are to be made housing the super rich? (more…)

indexby Daphna Whitmore

The election campaign was more colourful and circus-like than any I can recall. The result in the end was a lot more bland. National were miles ahead in every poll so it was no surprise they romped home on the night. They won the party vote in 59 out of 64 general electorates.

Although they could govern alone they won’t, and the government will be made up of the same parties as before.

National

On the leftish-blogosphere readers are being told to prepare for a grim three years where National will go full throttle neo-liberal. The same people have made the same predictions ever since National got in six years ago. They are still wrong. Key has signaled he has no surprises and that National are not about to lurch further to the right. Not only is Key not a neo-liberal, there is barely any support for that doctrine in NZ today.

Act

The Act Party has been on life-support for years, and this election they managed to outdo themselves by halving the tiny vote they got in 2011. Act’s best contribution to the political landscape is the proof they provide that money doesn’t win elections. The Internet Party likewise. (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

The income gap widening is hardly news, but it keeps making the headlines.

An OECD report published December 2011 shows that inequality grew more in New Zealand than most other developed countries in the past two decades.

In that time, through Labour and National governments alike, the gap has become a chasm. (more…)