Lindsay Mitchell

Lindsay Mitchell schools silly old Bernard Hickey

Lindsay Mitchell is wise to media commentators like Bernard Hickey making shit up.

She schools the man who sold out of the Auckland market years ago stating it was at its peak and he was moving to Wellington.

According to Bernard Hickey, writing in today’s HOS:

New Zealand created 120,000 new jobs in the past two years, but the number of unemployed and underemployed rose.
How did that happen?

Essentially New Zealand imported a net 123,900 people to do those jobs.

Really?

Hickey has added together the net migration gain for the two years to March 2016. From Stats NZ:

Unadjusted figures showed a record net gain of 67,600 migrants in the March 2016 year.

The balance, 56,300 was the net figure for the previous year    Read more »

Where are all the benefit babies born?

Lindsay Mitchell has been doing some research on where all the benefit babies are being born.

Unsurprisingly bludgers beget bludgers…and it’s growing.

Every year I track how many benefit babies there are relative to the total births. Being a ‘benefit baby’ means relying on a parent or caregiver’s benefit  by the the end of their birth year. Most will become reliant nearer to their birth date rather than first birthday. Many will go on to experience long-term deprivation.

This year I asked for a  breakdown by Work and Income Service Centre. That was provided. Then I asked the Ministry of Health for District Health Board birth data for 2015. They very quickly obliged without an OIA. Credit to them.

It was then straight forward to place each service centre in a DHB  and calculate the percentage of babies in each district that would be benefit-dependent before their first birthday.

Where the benefit babies are born

Read more »

Septic Tank busted telling pork pies

The other day I lambasted Carmel Sepuloni, aka the “Septic Tank”, for her claims that reducing the number of people on benefits was bad.

She thought it was bad because she claimed there was no evidence about where they had “gone”.

Well, Lindsay Mitchell managed to find out…so why couldn’t Carmel?

Here’s the most recent publicly available data under National:

Cancellations of Jobseeker Support Dec 2015 by reason Read more »

Lindsay Mitchell tears the Morgan Foundation a new one

Lindsay Mitchell has written to the Dominion Post but, with their poor circulation, her letter will barely get read.

So, in the interests of greater coverage and transparency, here is her blog post calling out the Morgan Foundation.

An article appeared in this morning’s DomPost from one Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw of the Morgan Foundation. Apparently the first of three.

My response by way of a letter-to-the-editor:

Dear Editor

Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw of the Morgan Foundation (DomPost, Jan 1) argues that giving families cash with “no strings attached” is the best way of reducing child poverty. To support her argument she quotes from The Economist, “Unconditional Cash Transfers work better than almost anyone would have expected. They dent the stereotype of poor people as inherently feckless and ignorant”.    Read more »

Would adoption be a better solution than reforming CYFS?

Lindsay Mitchell, who knows more about welfare than most seems to think so.

Watching Paul Henry interview Anne Tolley about the latest CYF report was very dissatisfying. There was no discussion of getting to the real core of the problem. Only the terrible statistical outcome for those children who went into state care in 1991, then a lot of blaming of current hierarchy followed by dogged promises of change.

1/ There will always be children born into circumstances that warrant their removal. But when you pay people to reproduce there will be more.

2/ In the past most of these children were put up for adoption. That outcome wasn’t always ideal but it was a better alternative than constant upheaval and removal from one placement to another. Adoption delivered a better result than the philosophy of striving to keep the child with its birth mother or blood family at any cost. Because ultimately the child ends up in state care anyway more damaged than it would have been if adopted out at birth.

3/ Increasingly there are people who want and cannot have children. That’s abundantly clear from the burgeoning fertility treatment industry.    Read more »

And Labour doesn’t want people with Chinky sounding names despite them being better parents than those with Maori sounding names

Labour’s race-baiting housing policy led to anger in the Asian community as they were unfairly singled out as the cause of Auckland’s housing crisis.

Labour was scaring away people with chinky sounding names but the reality is we should be welcoming them here if only for the fact that they are better parents than many of our own feral citizens.

Lindsay Mitchell reveals that of all the children in state care only 64 Asian children are in state care. If only the statistics for Maori were so rosy.

Talkback and news yesterday was dominated by the report from the Children’s Commissioner citing the inadequacies of state care and CYF.

It has inevitably been heavily politicised, for example by the DomPost this morning. They like to bitch at the current Minister.

A crucial failing: while 58 percent of the children in care are Maori, the system often fails to meet their needs. Some extra senior Maori staff have been appointed, the report notes, but many Maori staff are overworked. Major change is needed here. What is the Minister, a Pakeha with no obvious empathy or experience in Maori issues, doing about it?

So, the “system” often fails to meet the needs of Maori children.

First and foremost their parents and families failed to meet their needs.   Read more »

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Lindsay Mitchell has some things on her mind

via Sun Live

via Sun Live

Yesterday, on NewstalkZB talking to Larry Williams. Phil Twyford insisted that Labour had taken legal advice over the leaked Barfoot and Thompson data and were assured it was non-problematic because there was nothing in the data that wasn’t publicly available.  Why, then, didn’t they access it through publicly available channels?   Read more »

Breaking News: Benefit increase welcomed by racing industry

by Lindsay Mitchell

The “first benefit increase since the 1970s” is welcomed by the racing industry, currently struggling to survive.

Offcourse turnover dropped steeply after the 1990’s benefit cuts, but the National government has rejected a return to the halcyon days of ex Racing Minister, Winston Peters, refusing to fund a cash injection into stakes – the lifeblood of the industry.

Described as “heartless” in its attitude to the racing industry, the government stands accused of turning its back on jockeys, trainers, breeders, livestock agents, and the 30,000 people relying on the industry for their livelihood.

The 2015 budget took the industry by complete surprise.

In a masterstroke, John Key and Bill English, raised benefits and side-lined not only the Greens and Labour, but NZ First, whose support base relies on racing enthusiasts. Read more »

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.

Read more »

Guest Post – Douglas wrong about National

A guest post from Lindsay Mitchell.


Making some otherwise sound recommendations to his old party, Labour, Sir Roger Douglas made this statement:

 “National’s do-nothing, status-quo approach to economic and social policy provides Labour with a real opportunity to get back up on its feet.”

In the last six years National has done more to address working-age welfare dependence than Labour did in the prior nine.

A Labour supporter would reject my claim on the basis that numbers on the unemployment benefit took a nosedive over their incumbency. That’s true. Work and Income put enormous effort into those on an unemployment benefit, and Labour luckily oversaw an economic boom (giving them full credit for which is as questionable as blaming National for the GFC.)

But chronic welfare dependence, a crippling social and economic issue for New Zealand, lies in the other main benefits:  pre-reform they were the DPB  and Sickness/Invalid benefits combined.

In 2009, National set up the Welfare Working Group, and from there, commissioned the Taylor Fry actuarial work which exposed where long-term reliance is concentrated. The revelation that teen parents and other young beneficiaries entering the system at 16 or 17 would stay there the longest was no surprise.

Through the early 2000s, while only 2-3 percent of the DPB total at any given time was teenagers, between a third and a half of all recipients had begun on welfare aged under twenty. Throughout Labour’s administration I argued that average stays on welfare were much longer than government issued figures. Point-in-time data produces much longer averages than data collected over a period of time, but it suited Labour politically to use the latter data to minimise average stays and downplay dependence.

To understand this statistical phenomena imagine a hospital ward with 10 beds. Nine are occupied year around by chronically ill patients; one is occupied on a weekly basis. At any point-in-time 9 patients have an average stay of 12 months and one, an average stay of one week. But calculated over the year, 85 percent of total patients had an average stay of just 1 week. Equate this to spells on welfare and you can see how long-term dependence can be disguised.

Here is the huge difference between National and Labour.

National looked for what Labour had denied.   Read more »