National Superannuation is a great scheme. It allows people to live with dignity whether they are in paid work or not. It has been around in non-means-tested form ever since 1938. National party stalwart Rob Muldoon insisted on a national superannuation rate of 80% of the average wage for couples.
Universal national superannuation survived the era of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. Almost. The age of eligibility was raised from 60yrs to 65yrs, and the rate dropped to 66% of the net average wage. And politicians, neoliberal economists, and the independently wealthy have been trying to work out ways to get rid of it ever since. Continue reading
Paula Bennett’s press release this week has sparked fears that the elections will descend into a beneficiary-bashing fest.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to embrace a social welfare system and has always been well regarded internationally because of that. It is one of our greatest achievements, along with being the first to give women the vote and declaring our nation nuclear free.
The recognition that the state should not just be there in the case of unexpected misfortune, but actively promote the welfare of all citizens, was innovative and visionary. It is what defines New Zealand as a great place to live. It means that we are all equal. Everybody can participate in the things that we all enjoy. Continue reading
Work and Income’s latest brainchild – work assessments for the disabled and people with medical conditions – is a perfect illustration of this government’s dogged determination to spend public money where it is least needed and starve funding from anything vaguely worthwhile. Continue reading
Solid Energy is going down the gurgler, NZ Post is trying to get out of delivering mail, KiwiRail is closing railway lines and ordering all its new stock from offshore, and Mighty River Power is throwing money at exploration work in Chile – $250 million to date and growing – desperate to find a viable geothermal field to exploit Chileans facing power price hikes because of drought conditions.
What do all these entities have in common? They’re all State Owned Enterprises working against the best interests of New Zealand. Continue reading
The Alliance Party is concerned about amount of misinformation circulating about the long term unemployment. It is time for a bit of honesty both from the government and employers. Continue reading
New Zealand is widely credited with being the first country in the world to introduce a social welfare system at the beginning of last century. Once again we are leading the way in welfare but this time not in a good way, the Alliance Party believes. We have become the first country to commission an actuarial valuation of our benefit system for working age adults. Continue reading
John Key’s latest plan to hound young unemployed people with “micro case management”, whatever that means, and other punitive measures, as a callous political stunt. Continue reading