Tag: New Zealand Labour Party

But @NZLabour must be guilty of racism if it uses its own evidence standards

Prominent New Zealand Labour Party stalwart Sunny Kaushal has resigned from the Party amidst allegations of hostilities and bullying from Party Membership and Party Hierarchy.

With the growing use of arguments about unconscious bias, it is near impossible to rebut an accusation of racism.

Certainly, once the accusation is spit at you, the onus is on you to prove to a stranger who never met you before beyond reasonable doubt that you are not a racist. One misfortunate glance, a raised eyebrow, a jumbled sentence is enough to undo a life of principle

Unconscious bias is the main driver of the gender wage gap if my betters are to be believed. Why not racism? What is the view of the New Zealand Labour Party on unconscious bias in proving racial discrimination and pay inequity?

The Labour Party wants to reverse the onus of proof in sexual assault trials. Certainly these standards should filter down into civil proceedings and pub conversations.

The Labour Party must be a cauldron of sexism if the only way it can get gender balance in caucus is quotas. Why is racism not any less insidious within Labour decision-making than sexism?

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.@JudithCollinsMP showed that @JacindaArdern does not know when to stop digging

Judith Collins today in Question Time showed that Jacinda Ardern does not know when to stop digging. Ardern quoted a snippet of the question put to the police minister at the recent police conference.

That selectivity allowed Collins to right to quote the conference question in full and her full answer, which was not just about money poverty but also about

“… a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring …”.

Later Collins said she does not agree with Labour saying today that poverty causes crime.

The Labour Party showed that it is no longer rooted in working class values when it argues that poverty is not linked to a poverty of responsibility and of parental love.

There are plenty of poor people who do not resort to crime and who despise those that do, in part because they often make them the victims of their crimes including burglary.

More on homelessness fell under @NZNationalParty? @CarmelSepuloni @cjsbishop

I cherry picked my previous data on homelessness if the New Zealand sub-Reddit is to be believed and from which I am banned and cannot reply. Plotting the data in full is to cherry pick it. The chart below is simply the first two rows of the source data. The subsequent rows deal with those in emergency accommodation and in temporary accommodation.

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Source: 24 August 2016, Most homeless people working or studying, News, University of Otago, New Zealand, table 4.

When I shared this data on Carmel Sepuloni MP’s Facebook page, she rightly and constructively said

Thanks for your comment Jim. Unfortunately the number living rough has increased since 2001. We want to focus on improving the future, which is why we are holding our homeless inquiries so we can best understand and address this issue:

Rather than pointscoring, the issue is what to do to fix the problem. How desperate is much of the rest of the Left to beat up this issue as the fault of John Key. This is an an important issue that should not be used for point scoring by sufferers of John Key derangement syndrome.

Homeless people are those who I charted above. They are sleeping rough or in a car. They have slipped through the social safety net which is obviously not working for them. If you are in emergency accommodation, the social safety net is working. The issue is making that safety net work better in terms of moving quickly into more permanent accommodation..

How will @nzlabour @NZGreens ration their 100,000 affordable homes?

The Labour Party (and Greens) both plan to build 100,000 affordable homes and sell them within a specific price range. In Auckland, where houses cost in excess of $800,000 on average, they hope to enter the market at the $550,000 point with still quite reasonable housing.

What I ask you is how will Labour and the Greens make sure the affordable houses both are proposing are not snapped up by well-to-do buyers rather than families currently locked out of the market? What will the rationing mechanism be?

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Source: KiwiBuild – New Zealand Labour Party.

How will Labour  and the Greens ration these desirable houses given that they are priced well below the competition? If two buyers both offer $550,000 for the house, which bid will be accepted?

If the next best available house in Auckland is worth more than that because it is not sold by the proposed Housing Affordability Authority, the first bid for these houses will be $550,000 which is the maximum the government under a Labour Party is willing to accept? What happens then? 

It is basic economics that if you price at less than the market clearing rate which in Auckland is somewhere near $800,000, people will queue to buy what you have unless you raise the price. The exercise of building 100,000 affordable houses makes no sense unless the purpose is to undercut what the market currently supplies.

As the houses are to be sold by a government agency, there can be no black market nor dilution of quality to even up supply with demand. How will a deadlock in price bids be resolved if the maximum bid for an affordable house starts at $550,000?

Labour acknowledges the possibility of flipping by restricting resale for 5 years. But what stops investors just waiting 5 years as there is any significant price gap between these affordable houses and the private market alternatives.

What stops more affluent buyers living in these houses because they so much cheaper than the competing options in Auckland? If you miss out in bidding on one affordable home, do you go back to the end of the queue for the next that is built or get some priority?

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.@NZlabour wants to crash house prices! @NZGreens take on the NIMBYs! @PhilTwyford

There has been an unexpected outbreak of political courage on the left of New Zealand politics.

The Labour Party wants to crash housing prices by not only abolishing the Auckland urban limit, but ensuring councils can fund the necessary infrastructure to bring new land to the market:

Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping land bankers profiteering and holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds.

In response, the Greens want to take on the inner city NIMBYs by greatly increasing housing density and new developments in their pristine suburbs

Like Labour, we believe that people should have a choice about where they live. But a lot of people want to live close to the central city where they work or study. That means delivering more high-quality, inner city housing options, not endless sprawling new suburbs.

It’s often easier and cheaper to revitalise central suburbs than it is to build new suburbs on the city fringes. Infrastructure for new sprawling subdivisions is very expensive.

This outbreak of courage is surprising after the resolute opposition of these parties to any reform of the Resource Management Act to loosen up the land supply.

It is a breakthrough nonetheless because at least the Labour Party admits that housing affordability is about increasing land supply by removing the Auckland urban limit.

Compulsory Te Reo Māori betrays those @nzlabour represents @jacindaardern @AndrewLittleMP

This policy of Labour of making Te Reo Māori compulsory in primary school and perhaps high school is reckless and betrays those for whom Labour claims to speak.

I must first declare a bias. I struggled to pass high school English. I never scored a single mark in a phonetics test – zero every time. I was hopeless at learning Japanese. I was wise enough to resist encouragement for my dear departed mother to enrol in French classes. I had no wish to be the class dunce in French.

The only reason I went to university was Mr. Carney in the first week of grade 7 noticed that I was in the level II classes for English and social science. As all my brothers and sisters topped the school or near enough, he assumed I was hiding my light under a bushel. He promoted me to the level III classes, which put me in the stream to matriculation colleges and therefore university.

Imagine how much I would have hated study if I was required to learn a language other than English when I was struggling terribly to learn English. I am still a bad speller. I leave it to the reader to judge my grammar. Who wants to be the class dunce in both English and French?

Requiring students of modest academic ability to acquire a 2nd language when they may not be doing well in mastering the basics is playing with their lives as though they were little toys.

Learning another language is not a priority for the Pākehā children nor Māori mokupuna when you consider the poor literacy rates among Māori, Pasifika and some Pākehā

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Source: Literacy skills of young adult New Zealanders | Education Counts.

60%of Pākehā are above the minimum level of competence to meet the prose literacy requirements of a knowledge society. This contrasts with the majority of Māori and Pasifika who are below the minimum level of competence.

Requiring children who do not have an aptitude for language or school in general to learn a language will reinforce in those who are not doing well that they are not very smart. This will give them more reasons to hate school and leave as soon as possible and never go back.

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Source: Literacy skills of young adult New Zealanders | Education Counts.

Taking student learning time away from basic literacy skills will do little for a Māori economic development. This is because this taking of student learning time away from literacy and basic education will slow the closing of income gaps between Māori and others.

The key to helping children who do not have an aptitude to succeed at school is to find subjects where they do do well so they can get a good start to life. If students are not good at academic subjects, requiring them to do more academic studies such as study a language is fool-hardy.

Learning Te Reo Māori will not help children in their other subjects. The psychology of the transfer of learning was founded 100 years ago to explore the hypothesis that learning Latin gave the student muscle to learn other subjects, both other languages and generally learn faster.

Educational psychologists found that Latin does not help much in studying other languages and other subjects. No significant differences were found in deductive and inductive reasoning or text comprehension among students with 4 years of Latin, 2 years of Latin or no Latin at all.

Child poverty, @jacindaardern and what higher wages cannot buy

The Left thinks the solution to poverty is giving the poor more money because poverty is caused by the poor not having enough money.

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern introduced the exception in an op-ed in the Sunday Star Times. People are poor because they do not have enough money unless that is because of a lack of money because you are not married or not living with the father of the child.

Ardern was raging against a report by Lindsey Mitchell arguing that a major driver of child poverty is the breakdown of the family and the rise of single parent households. Ardern said that

I’ve spent the better part of six years reading and researching the issue of child poverty, and what we need to do to resolve this complex problem in New Zealand.

And yet here it was, the silver bullet we have all been looking for. Marriage. Getting hitched. Tying the knot. It turns out that we didn’t need an Expert Advisory Group on child poverty, or any OECD analysis for that matter – apparently all we really need is a pastor and a party

Ardern preferred to attribute the increase in child poverty to welfare benefit cuts in the early 1990s.

There is an exception within this exception for the living wage as Ardern says 

But the other factors Family First was so quick to dismiss – low wages and staggering housing costs – mean we have 305,000 children in poverty. And this is the stuff that needs to change. It’s time we faced reality.

A living wage increase can solved family poverty. Actually getting a job and earning a wage does not reduce poverty among single-parent households but living wage increases do for families.

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Source: Jacinda Ardern: Govt must improve the lot of our children – National – NZ Herald News.

You cannot have it both ways. That low wages cause family poverty but no wages does not.

The best solution to child poverty is to move their parents into a job. Simon Chapple is quite clear in his book last year with Jonathan Boston that.

Sustained full-time employment of sole parents and the fulltime and part-time employment of two parents, even at low wages, are sufficient to pull the majority of children above most poverty lines, given the various existing tax credits and family supports.

Will @NZLabour have any list MPs in 2017 after deal with @NZGreens?

There is a memorandum of understanding agreed yesterday between the New Zealand Labour Party and the New Zealand Greens. There is some speculation that there will be more coordination over electorate votes so that the Labour Party wins more electorate seats.

Labour has five list MPs at the moment. Winning a few more electorate seats will mean that the leader of the party and a future leader may be out of parliament if there is more tactical voting.

Unless this tactical voting leads to an overhang in parliament with Labour holding more electoral seats than it is entitled to on the basis of its party vote, it seems to be shooting itself in the foot.

@jacindaardern @NZLabour’s Healthy Homes Bill will raise rents to poor tenants and students

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Source:  David Friedman, Chapter 1: What Does Economics Have to Do with Law?

@garethmorgannz’s @grantrobertson1’s #UBI is worse than I thought @JordNZ

The Universal Basic Income of $11,000 per adult proposed by the Morgan Foundation and floated as a idea to consider by the New Zealand Labour Party leaves the poor way below even that the stingy as the poverty line switch is that 50% relative poverty line. Little wonder that the Labour Party said that increasing the Universal Basic Income to avoid leaving current beneficiaries worth off would lead to a very high tax rate.

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Source: A Universal Basic Income may be a good idea – but we will still need social security that works.

@garethmorgannz the @TaxpayersUnion #UBI report isn’t bonkers @JordNZ

A clever man can climb out of the hole a wise man would not have fallen into. In responding to my Taxpayers’ Union paper on a Universal Basic Income, Gareth Morgan just kept digging.

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His first response was to say a Universal Basic Income would not be implemented immediately. This avoids retirees taking home $50 per week less than currently under NZ Superannuation.

Gareth Morgan’s solution is to say that only those currently under 50 will have to rely on a Universal Basic Income.

Only people who are today under the age of 50 could be expected to retire under the UBI policy, the policy would not apply to existing superannuitants.

Generation Rent have to pay higher taxes to keep current retirees in the superannuation style they have become accustomed. Those aged over 50 are also grandfathered in to the existing level of income support from New Zealand Superannuation.

Generation Rent will have to save their Universal Basic Income so they do not live in poverty when they retire in as little as 15 years from the date of introduction. As Gareth Morgan explains when referring to 40-year-olds:

For the 25 years prior to retirement they will receive the UBI on top of their wages. If they save a good portion of it they will have nest egg at retirement which they can use in retirement to supplement the UBI (which is more modest than today’s NZ Super).

At least the Labour Party admitted that a Universal Basic Income of $11,000 per adult was inadequate and will have to be supplemented so that no one is left worse off:

After all, $11,000 is a lower income than what is currently paid out as part of New Zealand Super. If the figure is too low, then the benefits of security and freedom promised by a UBI may not be realised.

On the other hand, if the figure is pushed higher, taxes will have to rise, possibly to an unrealistically high figure. (Morgan’s $11,000 UBI is funded through a flat tax of 30%.) There is, therefore, a real feasibility-sufficiency trade-off.

It may be that a UBI has to be supplemented by other transfers to ensure that the most vulnerable groups have enough income.

As for single parents relying on a welfare benefit, they are $150 a week short under a Universal Basic Income. Where is Sue Bradford when you need her to go on about beneficiary bashing.

Gareth Morgan’s proposed solution to this $150 per week cut in the incomes of the needy is to suggest that the non-custodial parent of the child should give up part or all of their Universal Basic Income to support their child:

Each child has two parents, the UBI is paid to both whether they live together or not.

It is totally feasible that the UBI of both parents could be required to be directed to support the children in the event of separation. In the Kahuna the amount paid per family would be $22,000 after tax – more than is paid to a sole parent family now.

This hard line on child support will make being a non-custodial parent of a child a rather risky venture under a Universal Basic Income. A Universal Basic Income is supposed to make you feel very secure against misfortune as Gareth Morgan explained back in 2011:

…let’s agree on what is a minimum income every adult should have in order to live a dignified life and then see what flows from that. We begin by specifying the income level below which we are not prepared to see anyone having to live.

If you are the non-custodial parent and down on your luck – unemployed, sick or an invalid – you cannot rely on your Universal Basic Income as a backstop because part or all of that is already transferred to support your child.

Paternity suits will take on a new meaning because you can lose your Universal Basic Income. The Universal Basic Income with Gareth Morgan’s ad hoc amendments this week has strings attached on whether you or someone else receives your Universal Basic Income. That make or break decision will be up to the Family Court and the Child Support Agency at IRD.

I am not sure how a Universal Basic Income deals with deadbeat dads at home and living abroad. Central to its funding is abolition of the welfare state bureaucracy to save $2 billion.

Those down on their luck will not have a welfare state bureaucracy to turn to if their child support does not come through or have nothing to live on after their child support is paid.

Now let Gareth Morgan explain why he wanted to get rid of that welfare state bureaucracy and replace it with a Universal Basic Income:

We must finally admit that with all the paternalistic will in the world there is no chance that public servants can adequately identify and monitor eligibility for a needs-based benefit regime.

We should save ourselves the torture of continuously getting it wrong and designing an endless stream of discriminatory “fixes” to cover our mistakes in finding targeted perfection.

The reality is that people’s circumstances are dynamic and that they will change their behaviour to suit the design of the benefit regime making the chicken and egg nature of determining “needs” an exercise in futility.

The important thing is to be fair and to have a consensus on the level of income that we all have an unconditional entitlement to in order to live a dignified life.

Gareth Morgan seems to throw Generation Rent and non-custodial parents under the bus to deliver on his dream. They both have to give up much of their Universal Basic Income either to their children or their KiwiSaver to fill the growing number of gaps in his Big Kahuna. Their unconditional entitlement to be able to live a dignified life through a Universal Basic Income of $11,000 per adult has a lot of strings attached to it and cracks to fall through with no safety net.

Wear a condom, do not divorce and do not be under 50 are the secrets to enjoying a Universal Basic Income. If not, you are on your own. Your Universal Basic income is already spoken for.

Questions for @grantrobertson1 on the #UBI @JordNZ

Labor Party finance spokesman Grant Robertson yesterday ruled out an income rate tax of 50% to fund a Universal Basic Income. Labour is considering a Universal Basic Income. It released a background paper for that purpose as part of its Future of Work Commission.

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Source: Taxpayers’ Union rubbishes Universal Basic Income idea | Stuff.co.nz.

Questions arise as to how the Labour Party will fund its Universal Basic Income after ruling out a tax rate of 50%. As Brain Easton said:

Many advocates put the UMI forward without doing the sums. Those who do find that the required tax rates are horrendous or the minimum income is so low that it is not a viable means of eliminating poverty. Among the latter are New Zealanders Douglas, Gareth Morgan and Keith Rankin.

The Labour Party’s background paper already has said that the Universal Basic Income proposed by the Morgan Foundation is insufficient because many beneficiaries and all retirees will be much worse off. They receive much more in income support under the existing welfare state and they would under a Universal Basic Income of $11,000 per adult as proposed by the Morgan Foundation.

The solution proposed by the Labour Party is a supplemental income transfers to ensure no one is worse under a Universal Basic Income. This will greatly increase the cost of a Universal Basic income in comparison to the Morgan Foundation proposals.

A series of questions come to mind that the Labour Party and its finance spokesman Grant Robinson must answer if they are to go anywhere with a Universal Basic Income;

  1. Is not the point of a Universal Basic Income to replace the welfare state, not supplement it?
  2. How will the Labour Party fund its Universal Basic Income plus the supplemental income transfers without introducing a $8 billion tax on capital income  (including the family home) as in the Morgan Foundation’s proposals?
  3. The Universal Basic Income proposed by the Morgan Foundation requires $13 billion in extra taxes ($8 billion from taxing capital and $5 billion from a 30% flat-rate income tax) so how much more to that will Labour need for a Universal Basic Income plus supplemental income transfers?
  4. What is the maximum top marginal income tax rate that Labour will consider to fund a Universal Basic Income?
  5. Will the Labour Party’s Universal Basic Income be funded by a flat rate income tax or a progressive income tax system?

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Source: How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.It would have been my first point