Sue Moroney

Phillipstown school, unions and Labour called out

Tahu Potiki in The Press has a crack at the principal of Phillipstown school and the parents who allow their children to be used as political pawns.

It is a sane view of the nonsense surrounding a school closure and David Cunliffe gets a serve as well as the opportunist.

Dear Phillipstown School, please get a grip. Fight to the death? Really?

I can understand that a decision such as a school closing is an emotional one and pushes buttons at a number of levels but, as an outsider, I have to say that the appearance of the key players advocating for the school is petulant, irrational and pointless.

We have kids that attend a local school and it does play an important part in our community but we are predicting changes some time in the near future. There are three schools between here and Dunedin and only about 300 pupils with the spread being far from even. We have always expected that the ministry will eventually step in and make a call. When it does I certainly hope our communities will act with a little more balance and perspective than we have seen from Phillipstown.

The Minister of Education does not have a bottomless pit of money to simply let schools with diminishing rolls and depreciating assets carry on existing regardless. There are serious responsibilities to take into consideration as post-earthquake Christchurch reconstructs and reconfigures and all the social institutions and community infrastructure clearly need to reposition themselves.   Read more »

Tweets of the Day

Moroney denied chance to politically weaponise children

kids

We’ve seen the Teachers Unions do it:  whip the kids into a frenzy against that “nasty government”.  Doing parades and carrying union supplied placards in  “parent initiated” protests.

Tabling a finger painting in Parliament?

If this is the sort of strategy that Matt McCarten and #heyclint think will be the circuit breaker that Labour is looking for, I think we’re all safe.

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Minister does job. Gets told off for doing it too well

beach-holidays

They like to call it beneficiary bashing.  What do you call it when a Minister gets criticised for making sure the rules are implemented properly?  Minister bashing?

Sue Moroney has a go at Paula Bennett for returning $1M of tax payers money to those who can’t afford overseas holidays

Labour’s social development spokeswoman, Sue Moroney, said there had always been penalties for travelling without valid reason, but Ms Bennett was wrong to claim beneficiaries could clearly afford to travel. Often the money was scraped together by other family members or was a gift.

“I think Paula Bennett’s attempts to paint this picture of beneficiaries off living the high life at Club Med is not accurate. If Paula Bennett thinks it’s easy to live on a benefit and somehow have money left over to go travelling, she needs to have a go at living on a benefit for a while and see how she gets on. Might have been the case in her day, but it’s not the case now.”

Come on now.  One moment Labour are trying to convince everyone that a quarter of New Zealanders live in deep poverty, and the  next minute you are trying to defend them going on overseas holidays?   Read more »

Having a lend, thousands of bludgers blagging holidays on the taxpayer

The constant refrain from the opposition is that it is tough on a benefit and that it is barely enough to live on.

The facts however are far different, with beneficiaries finding that not only is the benefit easy to live on, but that literally thousands of them are able to afford overseas holidays as well.

More than 21,000 beneficiaries have had their income support cut for travelling overseas since last July, the Government says.

But opponents have raised concerns about the number of people affected, dubbing it the latest round of “beneficiary bashing”.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said she was surprised by the “staggering number” of beneficiaries, excluding superannuitants, who were travelling overseas.

“These figures are the number of people who chose to travel knowing their benefit would be suspended.

”Every day we hear stories of how people cannot live on the benefit. Today you’re hearing that literally thousands can not only live on it but can afford to travel overseas as well.

Bennett said more than 1750 people have had their benefit suspended for multiple overseas trips since July.  Read more »

Labour still rolling out the lies on the baby bribe

A correspondent emails the tipline:

I see Labour is still rolling out the lies on the $60 baby bonus despite it being shown up as deceptive. Received this email only today repeating the policy as originally rolled out by the Silent T.

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Gender wage gap is a myth

The Labour party likes to push what they call “pay equity”…and the need to close the gender wage gap.

Here is Sue Moroney harping on about it.

Today the Business and Professional Women of NZ are commemorating Equal Pay Day to mark the number of days extra each year that women have to work to earn the same as men.

Sadly, Equal Pay Day this year is three days later than it was last year because the gender pay gap has grown again according to the Statistics NZ Quarterly Employment Survey.

It shows the average hourly wage for men is $29.09, while women earn $25.25 per hour – a gap of almost 12%.

This comes on the back of the Minister for Women’s Affairs telling a select committee that the correlation between gender and low occupational status is “debatable.”

Which is all well and good but a new study in the US proves that these sorts of claims are hogwash and a gender wage gap does not actually exist…it is a myth.

It’s the bogus statistic that won’t die—and president deployed it during the State of the Union—but women do not make 77 cents to every dollar a man earns.

President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address. “Today,” he said, “women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

What is wrong and embarrassing is the President of the United States reciting a massively discredited factoid. The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers. In its fact-checking column on the State of the Union, the Washington Post included the president’s mention of the wage gap in its list of dubious claims. “There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women… make it difficult to make simple comparisons.”   Read more »

Trotter on Cunliffe, it ain’t flash

Chris Trotter can see that the emperor has no clothes.

This is what he has to say about David Cunliffe’s State of the Nation bomb.

The “Best Start” policy of state-rewarded fecundity is the work of many months of flailing and threshing in Labour’s policy mill. A little grist from years of selfless advocacy by Labour’s Policy Council, and a lot of chaff from the uneasy trio of Annette King, Sue Moroney and Jacinda Ardern.

I listened and sighed. Not because helping the new-born baby’s parents with a weekly payment of $60 is a bad thing to do, but because there was a time when supplying the wherewithal for the labour force’s reproduction was the employers’ responsibility – not the state’s. Will Labour never tire of subsidising the bosses’ parsimony with money taken from the pocket of one worker and slipped into the hand of another?  Read more »

Would Helen Clark Have Stooped To This Level?

I can;t stand Helen Clark’s politics. But I can and do admire her sheer political cunning, ability and organisation. Take the politics aside, she took on the Labour party, and she moulded it into her image and tames the factions, or rather nobbled them into the ball-less shells they now are. She was a proper politician and she fought for what she wanted and believed in.

Apart from the odd photoshop job on signs and photos she pretty much kept it real.  I doubt she would ever have stooped to this level though to get what she wanted.

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Is Scott Simpson batting for the other team?

Scott Simpson is my oldest and longest friend in National’s caucus…what he doesn’t know about skulduggery and the dark arts of campaigning isn’t worth knowing. Much of what I’ve learned about the despicable side of politics I learned from Scott in the trenches of Eden electorate.

I know it is summer break from Parliament but c’mon Simpson… Beaumont and Moroney!!!!

Perhaps he should be over at Pauanui calming down the locals who are facing the prospects of having all the beach and reserves handed over to Maori instead of cavorting at the races with the Labour party…who we all know are against gambling when it suits them.

Time for Labour to have a cleanout as well

Under Helen Clark there was almost no renewal…after 9 years of her government pretty much the same faces existed…then there were the 3 years of Phil Goff again with no renewal.

While National cut dead wood and encourages retirements Labour is looking like going into the next election with the same old tired faces.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been crowing about the growing number of National MPs who have decided to stand down in 2014, likening it to rats deserting a sinking ship. Instead of seeking to make political capital out of his opponent’s obvious drive to bring in new talent at the next election, he would do better to follow suit and start sending the underperformers and time-servers in his own caucus the message that it is time to move on.

Rejuvenation is critical to all political parties. It allows them to bring in new blood to remain fresh in the eyes of voters. However, all too often it is not the parties themselves that do the job, but the electorate, via crushing defeats which see large numbers of sitting MPs turfed out of Parliament.

That is what is so significant about the rejuvenation underway in National. So far, seven of its 59 MPs – nearly an eighth of its caucus – have indicated they will not seek re-election, and there was talk last week that up to six more are considering whether to stand again.   Read more »