Economics

Guest Post: MSD ups efforts to detect sole parent benefit abuse

Lindsay Mitchell has been doing some digging  and come up with some interesting information regarding benefits and who should and shouldn’t be on them.

She has given me permission to repost her information in the interests of giving her a wider audience.

I have found the following information enlightening…especially as it appear to show that over 10% are abusing their benefit.


 

We all know that there are plenty of people pulling a single parent benefit who have partners. Anecdotal evidence aside, there are two data sources pointing to this.

One is the Growing up in NZ study, which I wrote about here but it gets quite complicated.

The second is simpler. It’s revealed in a passage from Child Poverty in New Zealand, by Simon Chapple and Jonathon Boston:

“Work undertaken at the Department of Labour and based on matching Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) and administrative welfare records indicated, firstly, that in 2011 about 10 per cent of people whose welfare records showed that they were receiving an unemployment benefit reported to the HLFS that they were actually in full-time employment (i.e., working at least thirty hours a week), and hence were ineligible for the benefit; secondly, that more than one-third of people on an unemployment benefit self-reported as not actively seeking work – and one in five expressed no intention to seek work in the coming year; and, thirdly, that about 10 per cent of people whose welfare records showed that they were receiving a DPB reported being partnered or living as married.”

(After an MBIE refusal to release the paper to me, the matter currently sits with the Ombudsman).

Back in October I blogged about a trial mentioned in the MSD Annual Report.

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Taxpayers’ Union smacks up Robertson for making it up

The left love to talk about ‘trickle-down economics’ and destroy its validity.

The trouble for Grant ‘less pies’ Robertson and Russel ‘give me my flag back’ Norman is that the ‘neoliberal theory’ is a figment of their imagination.

They were both on Radio Pravda (sometimes called Radio NZ) this morning bleating on about the latest OECD report calling for us all to be poorer so the poor feel better.

The Taxpayers’ Union has republished a piece which destroys Robertson’s credibility as Labour’s finance spokesperson.

Trickle-down economics is an example of a “ridiculous beyond belief” idea; that giving money to the rich will eventually trickle down to the rest of the economy to benefit all. Indeed, the refutation of this theory of trickle-down economics dominates the discourse.

[…]    Read more »

Uh oh, another hippy lie busted, Peak Oil is well dead now

Remember peak oil?

The hippies still cling to this shibboleth like Michael Jackson to a small boy.

But the reality is there is more oil now than ever before as we have got smarter and technology improvements give us access to previously uneconomic oil supplies. And the alarmists are upset that oil prices are falling.

Many environmentalists had assumed that if neither fear nor reason helped us to lessen our reliance on oil, then at least we could count on scarcity. But scarcity is not an economic or environmental policy. Humans have long had a habit of expecting the sky to fall. Yet from Malthus to Paul Ehrlich, predictions that the planet was on the verge of starvation have never come to pass (or at least not as broadly as expected). Nonetheless, the drop in oil prices comes at a terrible moment. Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that our only chance to halt the rising temperature of the Earth, and to prevent the calamity that rise will cause, would be to eliminate fossil-fuel emissions by the end of the century.

A plan to end U.S. fossil-fuel dependence would be an unlikely goal in any case, but, if oil remains easily accessible, it becomes politically impossible. “It is technically feasible to transition to a low-carbon economy,” Youba Sokona, the co-chair of one of the I.P.C.C.’s working groups, says. “But what is lacking are appropriate policies and institutions. The longer we wait to take action, the more it will cost to adapt and mitigate climate change.”

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How about that manufacturing crisis?

Remember the manufacturing crisis that the Labour party and assorted other opposition parties promulgated?

You know that the sector that was in total decay and was going to fail dooming us to a life of low wage servitude and indentured labour?

Yeah…that crisis…remember?

Manufacturers are flat out and are crying out for more workers, with a survey showing employment activity at record levels.

The latest BNZ- Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index showed the sector was expanding at its fastest pace this year in October.

The seasonally adjusted PMI for October was 59.3, up 0.8 on September. An index above 50 indicates the sector is growing and below 50 it is shrinking.

The PMI employment index hit 57.5 points in October, the highest level on record since the survey began in 2002.

BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said the labour market was getting stronger with annual employment growth of 3.2 per cent and the unemployment rate falling in the year to September.

“Today’s PMI results suggest more improvement is likely in the final quarter of 2014.”   Read more »

Rodney Hide on the myth that is child poverty

Rodney Hide slays a few lefty myths…like the existence of child poverty in New Zealand.

Leftists and troughers are working overtime to make child poverty the new reason for funding them and centralising control.

Their catchcry is 250,000 children living in poverty. Their problem is if it were true we would notice.

We know what child poverty looks like. Many of us have witnessed it overseas. All of us have seen it on TV. We don’t see it in New Zealand.

We see children neglected, for sure, and that makes us both angry and sad. But we blame the parents, not poverty. And, if personal responsibility makes us squeamish, we blame welfare for three generations of dysfunctional and non-existent parenting. It’s been public policy for years to sponsor child neglect.

Nonetheless the “child poverty” drums are beating. I was made aware of just how hard by the NZ Initiative’s weekly newsletter reporting classic journalistic over-egging and UN propagandising.

The UN should but out, and start preparing a defence against their global warming scam.

Fairfax’s Stuff.co.nz reported last week that Unicef had “slammed progress” on child poverty in New Zealand.

Really? I didn’t believe it and on your behalf put myself through the agony of reading yet another UN rubbish report. It doesn’t “slam progress” on child poverty. That news was made up.

All the UN report says about New Zealand is that along with the UK and US, we were “moderately affected” by the “Great Recession,” that our big change in the family benefit system was in 2012 to institute a “higher rate but lower income ceiling” and we are reported as middling along in various charts supposedly showing us where we fit in the child poverty stakes.

The news report is puffed out with various child poverty warriors beating the drum and Prime Minister John Key having to defend the government’s record against the false accusation that the UN had “slammed progress.” Such is the state of news reporting in New Zealand today.

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More good news, NZ is third most prosperous country in the world

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While a bunch of professional protestors and losers were marching the streets protesting free trade, a new report was released that shows New Zealand is the third most prosperous nation on the planet.

New Zealand is the third most prosperous country to live in according to an international report.

The 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index ranks 142 nations on their “wealth and wellbeing” in eight categories, including health, education, safety and security, and economy.

Norway tops the list, followed by Switzerland. The lowest ranked was the Central African Republic.

New Zealand has jumped two places from last year’s index and has ranked first in the Personal Freedom sub-index.

The increase in places was put down to the result of a large increase in the country’s Social Capital score, the report’s publishers said.

In all eight categories, New Zealand scored in the top 20.

Our Australian neighbours also make the top 10, coming in seventh on the list and ranking first in education.

The United States is ranked 10th, and has a top score in the health sub-index.

The Legatum Prosperity Index was published by the London-based Legatum Institute, which provided research on different economic and social issues around the world.

None of those loser protestors have ever bothered to stop and wonder how it is NZ places so highly on a prosperity index…it is because of free trade, that allows out economy to grow and recover quicker than other economies.  Read more »

Socialist paradise has highest poverty rates

Everywhere around the world where socialists are in control there is increasing not decreasing poverty.

The basic tenet of socialism is that everyone gets to be miserable equally.

Even in wealthy countries the lure of socialism soon turns to disaster.

The State of California, formerly the most powerful economic force in the United States outperforming the economies of all but a very few countries in the world, is now the nation’s leader in a category that the formerly conservative, but now overwhelmingly progressively liberal and Democrat Party-controlled state, has to find embarrassing.

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, California, which has been losing jobs to lower taxed, less state regulated states, now sports the nation’s highest rate of poverty, with almost one quarter (23.4%) of its residents living in poverty.

A depressing 8.9 million of the progressive controlled Golden State’s 38 million population are living in poverty in the once prosperous formerly conservative-run state.

Democrat-controlled Washington, D.C. came in at 22.4%

A similar study by the Public Policy Institute of California affirmed the state’s poverty rate at 22%, with some of the highest rates being in the “progressive” San Francisco area.

Los Angeles, which has been hijacked by the far left, had the highest poverty rate in the state at 26.9%.

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Campaigners to raise the minimum wage busted advertising minimum wage jobs

Socialists are hypocrites the world over.

In New Zealand we have seen political parties on the left advocating for a living wage dreamed up by an Anglican vicar  from Lower Hutt. The Wellington City Council adopted this arbitrary wage and one of the councillors voting for it was busted paying his own staff minimum wage and refused to pay them the same wage he voted the council to pay their workers.

We saw Laila Harre advocating and pushing the living wage as well while in the employ of a fat German man who exploited his workers paying them far below the minimum wage,  for which there will be some fall out in due course via the Employment Court.

Now in Seattle a similar campaign has been busted for being sanctimonious hypocrites themselves.

The website of Seattle’s Freedom Socialist Party lists its most recent presidential candidate Stephen Durham’s political positions, which include the party’s effort to “raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour.” The group also avidly supported a successful push for a $15-per-hour minimum wage in Seattle, which passed this year. However, as Zenon Evans at Reason pointed out, that same political party just got caught posting a $13-per-hour job listing seeking a web content manager with web development skills.  Read more »

Should this man teach economics?

Peter Lyons teaches economics at Saint Peter’s College in Epsom and has written several economics texts.

His article for the Herald started like this

On Monday I made several thousand dollars on paper. The share prices of electricity companies surged following the election.

If I had sold my holdings I would pay no tax on my gains because I am an investor rather than a trader.

Meanwhile a worker who spent the day toiling in a warehouse or factory might earn $15 per hour and pay a marginal tax rate of 17.5 per cent. I am a capitalist with a small c.

…This is the growing divide that is playing out in New Zealand and other Western economies. Wealth generally creates more wealth. This is not an expression of middle-class guilt or angst. I am an economist and see the world in terms of efficiency and equity.

Now, I’m not an economics teacher, but that sets off red flags to me.   Read more »

Using tax cuts to revive the economy – How the poms see NZ

The opposition likes to talk down the economy and the government, yet New Zealand has recovered faster than the rest of the world from the global financial crisis, without the need to slash and burn.

Our economy is the envy of the world.

Even the Poms see that:

In New Zealand, John Key’s National Party romped home to victory on a platform of cutting taxes and balancing the budget, trouncing a Labour opposition that promised to put up taxes. Slashing the top rate of tax has revived the economy, and been rewarded with electoral success as well. True, there are lots of differences between New Zealand and this country. And yet the truth is, there are a fair few similarities as well – and if tax cuts can work there, they can work here.

For a small place a long way from anywhere, New Zealand has a fine history of leading the way with radical experiments in economics. While we were battling over Thatcherism, and the Americans were debating Reagan-omics, the Kiwis had “Rogernomics”, created by the Labour finance minister Roger Douglas. What had been a very 1970s, state-dominated mixed economy was swiftly transformed under Douglas into a laboratory for free market ideas. Financial markets were deregulated, the money supply was brought under tight control, the currency was floated, and industries were privatised. It was a mix that was to become orthodoxy by the 1990s, but Douglas was implementing it while our Labour Party was still planning to nationalise the top 100 companies.

Now it is doing it again – except this time without any encouragement from the US or the UK. Ever since the financial crash of 2008, even centre-Right governments have followed a very narrow path, buying into high taxes, and near-zero interest rates, and allowing budget deficits to balloon, even when financed by printed money, to keep the economy afloat. No one has strayed far from the orthodoxy. Except, that is, New Zealand.

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