Tackling poverty

The left are criticising the Budget for not tackling poverty.

But they are wrong as Finance Minister Bill English pointed out:.

“It is widely acknowledged that paid employment is the best way to lift vulnerable families out of poverty,” Mr English says. “The Government will invest a further $188.6 million over four years for the next stage of welfare reforms, to help more New Zealanders into work. . .

Helping people help themselves by moving from welfare to work is one of the most effective, long term solutions to poverty.

10 Responses to Tackling poverty

  1. Andrei says:

    What a load of bumf.

    Welfare reforms are going to miracle up meaningful and worthwhile employment for thousands out of thin air?

    It is all just slogans from a dull unimaginative, uninspiring Government who hold the treasury benches by default because their opposition is so woeful

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  2. homepaddock says:

    There is no single, simple answer to poverty Andrei. Helping people from welfare to work will help, so will a growing economy in which businesses have more confidence to invest, grow and create more jobs.

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  3. Armchair Critic says:

    Andrei is correct, this is by and large bumf.
    Earlier on in the week you used relative statistics to advance the argument that other countries are probably envious of our growth rate. This conveniently ignored the absolute statistics of how far behind those other countries to begin with. That’ll be why, despite their supposed envy, they are not flocking here. How are those net migration stats looking again?
    Now in this post you use the absolute data and ignore the relativistic, again for the convenience of the argument. Sure, the budget does something to address poverty. It does it in the same sense that all budgets do. It also does something for the well off. In fact, it does a lot more for the well off than it does to address poverty. This is not a subtle point and I can only put it down to your commitment to the National party that you neglect to raise it.
    In terms of providing meaningful employment, to get people out of poverty, National have achieved very little. It’s not in the interests of the economic system they believe in to have high levels of employment, because that would transfer the balance of power towards employees and away from National’s voter base. So anything that Bill English has to say on the matter is lip service, and pretty much devoid of intent or meaning.
    Otherwise, very good. Yours is my favourite National-supporting blog. I will keeping reading and I hope you continue to keep away from the lies and damned lies.

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  4. TraceyS says:

    “It’s not in the interests of the economic system they [National] believe in to have high levels of employment, because that would transfer the balance of power towards employees and away from National’s voter base.”

    Your comment makes me laugh! Your thinking is decades out of date.

    There are many people out there within “National’s voter base” who would themselves take on more employees if they could only find the ones they need. Resourcing of staff is the biggest issue limiting the growth of our business at present. I know many others in the same situation.

    At best, your comment could only be correct in regard to very lowly skilled work that could basically be done by anyone walking in off the street. Many skills in blue-collar ‘professions’ are in hot demand at the moment and for some time before now. Those workers already hold significant bargaining power with their employers. Their employers aren’t wishing for higher unemployment just so they can drop wages and treat valuable employees like they are disposable. If they were, they’d be throwing their weight behind the labour/green party.

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  5. TraceyS says:

    I know this lovely family http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/257325/gains-meagre-family-benefit-say. Despite the headline, the article shows that the family did find things of value for them in the 2013 Budget.

    It’s a reality that employers have to compete with government benefit payments. If benefits are increased, it is harder for employers to attract people off benefits. If employer costs are reduced by government wherever possible (eg. ACC fees) then it is easier for employers to pay people what they need. Another area where the government can make a big difference is time and costs associated with all areas of compliance.

    Nirmala is a wonderful cook who knows the nutritional value that cheap food ingredients such as tumeric add to the family’s meals. Their kids are loved, well-fed, happy, and very bright. They give us all a sense of hope.

    These are the people who know how to mitigate the effects of poverty. White, middle-class, educated, do-gooders arguing over government policy and childishly pointing fingers are just entertaining themselves. They should pay more attention to families like this one. It’s about survival, not entertainment, for them.

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  6. TraceyS says:

    Btw, AC, why do you come to this blog if you consider Ele to be a “brick wall”? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2047364082320718555&postID=4677225515405106862

    If the thickness of the brick was inversely correlated to the number of comments received to posts, then I’d say that Robert’s wall is thicker.

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  7. Armchair Critic says:

    There are a number of reasons why the growth of your business is restricted by an inability to find the staff you want. None of them relate to “my thinking”. In any case, your argument would be much more convincing if you said “National believe in full employment and to achieve this they have….”
    A discussion of how they have funded courses to upskill the unemployed, strengthened protection for vulnerable employees etc. would really bring it home for me.
    Since you mentioned it, what are you doing to address the problem your business faces? I often hear that the market provides solutions and I’m genuinely interested in how effective it is in this instance.

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  8. Armchair Critic says:

    Why I come here is none of your business, Tracey. I stand by the comment I made this morning; it is my opinion that the coincidence between Ele’s posts and National party policy is uncanny and has little room for flexibility.
    Regarding your observation on numbers of comments, your opinion, while nicely expressed, is merely a supposition. It is more likely that the correlation is to something else.

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  9. TraceyS says:

    “Since you mentioned it, what are you doing to address the problem your business faces?”

    A lot of it is to do with keeping a positive attitude, paying well enough, being good team players and generally being somewhere that people want to work. Paying careful attention to the fit of people within the team is important, and the fit between the person and the work and trying to accommodate their preferences as much as possible. People like working with others they can get along with. That is more important than money to some.

    The Warehouse announcement of it’s career wage policy come across as a good social initiative from a business, and it is. But it is also good human resource policy. Their management can probably see medium to long term that there is a skills shortage looming and also recognise the cost of high voluntary employee turnover. So it is also a policy with business principles firmly behind it. No business pays employees more just for the sake of it. They will be expecting it to ultimately make the business more resilient and profitable. I can’t imagine their Board of Directors would have approved it without a good business case!Businesses are not just competing for customers anymore, they are competing for staff. The Warehouse is ahead of the game in retail. It’s very good to see. A good sign that the market is working as it theoretically should.

    One of the reasons why our business doesn’t take more people on and train them is attitude. They have to be able to learn by observation. Kids aren’t being taught that way very much any more. So we generally seek people who had a rural background as a child. Usually they have learned the value of watching and doing from someone more skilled. They come from families who value non-academic learning and who are happy being working class and are not pushing their kids to break class barriers.

    Some young people are coming out of school without the ability to tell the time or fill out a timesheet properly and demoralised because they didn’t fit the school system and therefore didn’t achieve. These are the ones who have potential as long as they are still motivated and gained adequate literacy/numeracy skills. Talk around the smoko room is enlightening, almost all had similar experiences at school. They are the ones teachers called ‘failures’.

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  10. TraceyS says:

    Thanks, AC, you answered my question.

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