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 →
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 →
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says it is highly symbolic that Prime Minister John Key was in Los Angeles dining with Warner Brothers at same time as Kiwirail workers at Dunedin’s Hillside workshops were being handed their redundancy letters.
The Alliance Party has highlighted how the person seeking to solve unemployment on behalf of the Government, is also on the Board of Directors of KiwiRail, whose recent decisions have led to the loss of skilled jobs. Continue reading →
The Alliance Party says today’s announcement of 41 job losses at Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops is the result of a “great betrayal” of New Zealand by John Key and his National Government.
Alliance Party spokesperson Trevor Hanson says the announcement of 41 job losses at Hillside was the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister and his policies.
I urge the government to tell the Aged Care Association and Terranova Homes and Care Ltd not to appeal the ruling of the Employment Court on the application of the Equal Pay Act to the wages of aged care workers.
Unfortunately because this work has largely been performed by kind hearted women, care workers are amongst the lowest paid workers in New Zealand. Care workers pay rates do not reflect the value of the work performed nor do they reflect the value society should place on our elderly receiving the best standards of care and attention.
The Employment Court ruling will change aged care for the better. It is a landmark decision and cause for celebration.
I accept that current funding levels may not be adequate for organizations to comply with the Employment Court ruling. However this is a separate issue that needs to be addressed by the government in purchasing agreements with aged care service providers. It should not be used as a reason to appeal the ruling.
New Zealanders have made it clear they want our elderly to have the best of care. I feel they would have no issue with the government paying the increased costs out of taxpayers funding if it meant aged care workers received the pay they deserve for the valuable work that they do.