Sunday, July 8, 2018


The NZEI has said that the Government's pay offer of an increase of between 2.2-2.6% for 86% of teachers is unacceptable.    They want a 16% increase spread over two years to address recruitment and retention problems.  

The Acting Prime Minister said in response the cupboard was bare and that they were not going to blow the budget in meeting the Union demands. You're darn tootin right Mr Peters.   There is no money.  Your Government has fallen into Stephen Joyce's much derided fiscal hole having blown the budget on low quality spending items.

In return the NZEI has threatened strike action.

It's time we ditched the 'monkey on our back' and walked away from the shibboleth that has 'universality' as the over-arching principle governing government support payments.    If you are going to 'assist' then you should be targeting your assistance to meet real need.   Shoot where the ducks are.

Why should the children of millionaires get a free year of tertiary education?   That decision was trumpeted as leading to more students in full-time study.  The reality is that numbers have remained static.  If you're going to offer 'free' education so called it should be means tested.

Why should someone like Mr Peters with an income well in excess of $400,000 receive the winter power subsidy payment?    Far better the payment goes to those in possession of a Community Services Card.

If baby Neve had been born two weeks later why should her parents receive the $60 per week baby bonus?    Jacinda Ardren doesn't need it and neither does anyone else earning a substantial income.    What might constitute a substantial income?   Perhaps $185,552 being the point at which Working For Families Tax Credits phase out.   You can debate that.

One could also make the case NZ superannuation payments to be means tested.   THat proposition has merit although it would be electoral suicide for any government to run with it.   The notion of non-means tested NZ superannuation is too far engrained into our national psyche.    With KiwiSaver in place and people working later, pushing back the age of entitlement remains the better option. 

The chickens are coming home to roost with these examples of low quality decision making and teachers are wearing it.   They will not be the first in the public sector to feel hard done by.


George said...

Computer based education should be brought in.
24/7 available no long holidays, no demands of equality with other systems and just maybe the 'overseeing teacher' monitors the students on the network.
They want to strike, we should afford them the privilege and award them with the DCM
(dont come Monday)

Gerald said...

Gee Georgina the current advise to parents is reduce computer time an you want them on it all day?

"Why should someone like Mr Peters with an income well in excess of $400,000 receive the winter power subsidy payment?"

One might add why are you picking it up if your principles say it wrong and everyone should have voted National for the tax reduction?

The Veteran said...

Gerald ... as I said in my post I would be perfectly happy for the winter power subsidy to be paid to all those holding a Community Services Card. I don't have one of those.

But more to the point I take it you are completely wedded to the notion of universality rather than need. I guess that's where we agree to disagree.

Gerald said...

So you've opted out?

The Veteran said...

Gerald ... what I choose to do (or not) is my own private affair and none of your business. I'm talking about what I believe should be the guiding principle governing ALL government support payments.

Happy to argue that with you rather than engage in a pissing contest going nowhere.

The Veteran said...

To update and in respect of my comment regarding the CoL's policy of free tertiary education for the first year of study and I have just picked up that National will be debating the following remit from the Hamilton West electorate at their Party Conference later this month ...

That the National Party commits to reforming the current Government's tertiary fees policy by providing fees free in the final year of studies for those students undertaking training courses that are aimed at overcoming critical skills shortages.

Could be an interesting debate ... rewarding those who have shown a commitment to completing their course of study rather than at the front end where there is a significant drop-out rate.

Andrew said...

While I agree with targeting specific support, means testing universal NZ Superannuation would cost more in administration than it would save. It would also create a revival in the "we'll show you how to hide your money" industry.

And those that argue it would be just as costly to target supplementary support - bullshit. We already have an income-tested mechanism called the Community Services Card. It sets an income benchmark that measures vulnerability - and would be easy to pay supplementary assistance only to those with a Community Services Card.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Andrew, make up your mind!

Andrew said...

Adolf - NZ Superannuation and supplementary support are two completely different things!
Hence I explained my thoughts seperately.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Andrew, I know they are two different things but on the one hand you argue targeting is too expensive while on the other you argue it is not.

I doubt you have any evidence for your assertion vis a vis super, otherwise those clever Australians would pay it to Malcolm Turnbull and Clive Palmer.

Andrew said...

Adolf - did you even bother to read what I posted?

Supplementary assistance can be tied to an existing mechanism that measures income vulnerability - the Community Service Card. Therefore easy to do.

That is different from means-testing NZ Super (which would require a test of income AND assets).

And yes, I do know what I am talking about it - I have done work on the cost-benefit analysis.

There would also need to be a decision on the whether implementing a means-test would be retrospective. Given there are already in excess of 750,000 people receiving NZ Super it would not be a popular move - and if the decision was made to "grand-parent" existing recipients, then any benefit would be completely diluted for many years, resulting in it simply being an additional cost to the taxpayer.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Andrew, the elephant in your room is Australia.

Why don't you do some more 'work' and figure out how much per annum they are saving? Next, ak how to they manage to do it for so little cost? (Here's a clue - data matching) Then ask yourself why are Australians so stupid and New Zealanders so clever?

You sound a bit like the climatistas who keep telling me sea levels are rising at an alarming rate but when I go down to Takapuna beach, the sea level appears to be just where it was seventy years ago.

Andrew said...

So you base your decision-making on what happens in another country?
OK sure - there's plenty to choose from.
Some are raising their age to 70.
That's what we should be doing.

To impose a means-test on an existing payment is expensive and administratively heavy.

But hey - fine by me - as long as you don't complain at having to bloat the public service and spending even more taxpayer $ on administration. It would certainly guarantee me a job for the rest of my life on a nice large earner.

Andrew said...

And by the way - Australia's system is not cheap - their equivalent staff to client ratio is almost double New Zealands.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Andrew, you are cherry picking.

The relative staff ratio is meaningless claptrap until you can tell me how much the extra staff cost compared with how much pension payment is saved.

Methinks you are skating on thin ice.