Higher taxes discourage work

Quote of the day:

What this Government did was lower the effective marginal tax rates. In fact, if you want to discourage people from being in the labour markets, the very biggest thing you can do is keep raising taxes and raising those effective rates. When you lose 100 percent of every extra dollar you earn, why on earth would people bother trying to earn more money? John Key.

Governments need money to operate and provide public services and infrastructure.

There is debate on how much they should do and how much they need to do it.

But increasing taxes on the wealthy as the left wants to do is dog-whistle politics based on ignorance and envy.

Increasing tax rates doesn’t necessarily increase the tax take.

When taxes get high enough to make working more not worth the effort, productivity drops and the tax take drops with it.

If Fonterra is able to deliver the extra 30 cents in the forecast payout it announced yesterday, that will do far more to increase the tax take than increasing tax rates.

53 Responses to Higher taxes discourage work

  1. Armchair Critic says:

    Speaking of higher taxes, here’s Tuesday’s quiz:
    1. Which government last raised GST?
    2. Which government last raised fuel tax?
    3. Which government last raised tobacco tax?
    4. He’s “the cause of KDS” amongst Green party supporters, a “neighbour” in the best parts of Parnell, the “local (cough, cough) MP” in Helensville, and a hypocrite throughout NZ (except in the debating chamber of parliament). What is he in parliament?
    5. What is the average taxable income of a NZ dairy farmer, and what techniques do they use to minimize their tax liability?


  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    Around 40% of the incomes of our wealthiest New Zealanders are untaxed capital gains and tax fraud costs the country around $6 billion a year. It is not about more tax, we should be looking at fair tax and a greater focus on tax avoidance rather than concentrating on sucking every last cent from the already poor.


  3. Viv K says:

    Quote of the day includes a ridiculous strawman. “ When you lose 100 percent of every extra dollar you earn, why on earth would people bother trying to earn more money? John Key” So where have the opposition parties suggested a 100% tax rate?

    “If Fonterra is able to deliver the extra 30 cents in the forecast payout it announced yesterday, that will do far more to increase the tax take than increasing tax rates.” Well maybe some of that money will become taxable income, but the extremely high debt of dairy farmers $30.5 billion dollars, means a heck of a lot of that extra payout will go to the Aussie owned banks



  4. homepaddock says:

    Armchair Critic – the promise on no tax increase was on income tax. This government has reduced taxes on things to be encouraged – work, savings – and increased them on things to be discouraged eg consumption, tobacco.

    Dave – Capital gain isn’t income, you only get income when (if) you sell the asset which is appreciating in value.

    Viv – You have to pay tax on your income before you retire debt ie out of after tax income. If the banks make more here they’ll pay more tax here too.


  5. TraceyS says:

    Capital gains are available to anyone who invests at the right time, or invests and waits long enough.

    If Aussie banks are doing well, then no one is stopping you from buying shares in them.

    The idea that lack of a capital gains tax is the main reason why people are not investing so much in industry is nonsense. Incidental capital gains by ordinary people on shares are not taxed either. So property and shares are on an equal footing.

    The system is equitable in that everyone is allowed to engage in these activities. The opportunity is there for anyone. Sure, if you’re starting off with little you might have to start out small. The thought that riches fall into people’s laps, are made overnight, or are undeserved, is harmful. Wealth, for most who have it, is a life’s work.

    We should be teaching kids how to invest well when they are young. Where’s financial literacy in the school curriculum? How many kids would understand the time value of money? How many teachers?

    If you want to help the poor kids you teach Dave, then buy a copy of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and read it to them.


  6. homepaddock says:

    Property investors pay tax on any capital gains they make when they sell.


  7. Viv K says:

    Sorry, I should have been more specific. The huge dairy debt will mean a significant chunk of that Fonterra payout will go straight to the Aussie banks as interest payments. Interest on business debt is paid before tax. Interest is what banks make their profits on and those profits are going straight off-shore.


  8. Viv K says:

    Nothing stopping people from buying shares eh Tracey? Having a bit of a Marie Antoinette moment there I see. Why don’t those poor people just make better investment decisions?


  9. homepaddock says:

    Interest paid has nothing to do with the payout – rates are negotiated and interest payments made regardless of the price of milk. If banks didn’t make profits they’d go bust. Interest is the cost of borrowing and most of ours comes from overseas because New Zealanders don’t save enough.

    The borrowing enables people to farm, employ people, pay for goods and services and pay taxes.

    Stop or cut down on the borrowing and you reduce, considerably, the business that’s done, people employed and tax paid.


  10. Viv K says:

    30 billion of dairy debt must be serviced, whether on fixed or floating rates. The interest on that debt is a tax deductable expense and is leaving NZ and not going into the IRD coffers. Since you were the one who posted John Key’s quote, perhaps you should also post the link to the 100% tax rate he is talking about, surely he didn’t make it up.


  11. Armchair Critic says:

    To me that looks like it is about taxes in general, and not specifically income taxes.
    …increased [taxes] on things to be discouraged eg consumption…
    Consumption is to be discouraged? Are you serious? That’s the economy stuffed, then.
    National has a track record of increasing tax. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that based on its track record it should be thought of as a “tax, borrow and spend” party, and therefore even more reprehensible than the reviled “tax and spend” of the previous Labour government.


  12. JC says:

    “The interest on that debt is a tax deductable expense and is leaving NZ”.

    No it isn’t. Continuing to repeat this well known lie doesn’t make it true. An Aussie bank wishing to send this money home must sell its NZ dollars in exchange for Aussie dollars, they must sell these NZ dollars through an exchange to someone who is bringing in Aussie dollars and needs to exchange for NZD.

    So any income or profit earned by an Aussie bank cannot be exported.. it can only be exchanged for Aussie dollars coming into NZ. Thats why virtually all countries strive to attract foreign investment.. once the money comes in it cant leave.. it can only be exchanged for other foreign money coming in.

    “and not going into the IRD coffers.”

    It never was going into IRD coffers because the tax has already been paid.



  13. homepaddock says:

    You’re right, interest is a tax deductible expense for businesses but as JC points out it doesn’t leave NZ and the bank that gets the interest pays tax on it here.


  14. Viv K says:

    ‘when you lose 100% of every extra dollar you earn’. Come on Ele, you posted that quote. Your leader said it, when has anyone mentioned a 100% tax rate? Looks like dog whistle politics based on ignorance and greed.


  15. homepaddock says:

    It’s not a 100% tax rate, it’s “100 percent of every extra dollar you earn,” ie you earn more, you go into a higher tax bracket and end up with no more than you had before.


  16. Armchair Critic says:

    Don’t push too hard, Viv K, even severe cases of cognitive dissonance have their limits.


  17. TraceyS says:

    No Viv. Nothing of any real substance is stopping anyone from being enterprising. NOTHING. Just like nothing is stopping you buying Aussie Bank shares are redistributing your dividends among the needy.

    It might not be shares, it could be investing in a little bit of gear to start a window washing business or a ute to deliver firewood for example. Everyone starts off from somewhere. We don’t all end up hitting the big time, but some of us plebs do quite alright.

    We all invest, even the poor. Those investments will help people get out of poverty if they are good ones in the majority. I invested when I was poor. Not all of my decisions were good, but the greater balance were. Most important is starting young so there’s time to recover from mistakes.

    We need to help kids understand that the dollar they earn today will never be any easier to earn than it is today. Waste that dollar today and in eight years time it will take you twice the work to earn the same dollar. So don’t waste that dollar – put it into something that will appreciate in value.

    “Appreciation”……that dreadful sign of greed, aka “capital gain”. So lets tax the hope of the poor to make it out of poverty shall we? Do you or David Cunliffe know anything about being poor and overcoming poverty? I suspect neither of you do.

    I’ve got no problem with making the tax system fairer. But not by taxing enterprisingness.


  18. TraceyS says:

    *and* redistributing


  19. Viv K says:

    ‘when you lose 100% of every extra dollar you earn’ Yep, I might know a mathematician that says that 100% means ‘all of’, but I guess John Key and Ele can find one with a different opinion.


  20. Armchair Critic says:

    I’m about to walk past several people sitting on the pavement, begging, Tracey S. They’ll be in pretty much the same place they were when I walked past last night. And yesterday. And last week.
    I’d sit down with them and tell them you’ve said “nothing is stopping them from being enterprising. NOTHING.” but honestly, I lack the courage to put forward such a stupid idea to people who are at the coal face of poverty. Since you raised it.


  21. JC says:

    Begging in NZ is pure enterprise, some of those guys can earn in a day what their benefit pays in a week and as Wgton CC spokeswoman Jenny Rains says: “People tend to assume that all beggars are homeless but this isn’t the case. Some use begging to support drug or alcohol addictions, or to supplement a limited income.”

    “They’ll be in pretty much the same place they were when I walked past last night. And yesterday. And last week.”

    They are in the same place each time because that’s the space allotted to them. Beggars rule themselves so there’s no poaching and so they don’t offend the public too much. Self regulating private enterprise is what you’re looking at.



  22. Viv K says:

    “Do you or David Cunliffe know anything about being poor and overcoming poverty? I suspect neither of you do.” I don’t know anything about David Cunliffe’s background and I don’t usually like to post personal information, but I am heartily sick of you making assumptions about other people, so I’ll tell you a bit more about me.
    Shakespeare Ave, Hamilton, that’s where I lived as a preschooler. My parents were very grateful to get the state house which was an improvement on the damp, rat infested farm cottage they had been living in. My parents didn’t smoke, drink or gamble. My Dad was training as a teacher, there were student allowances then, but he still had to work Friday nights and weekends for us to get by.
    I was lucky, I was good at school work, healthy ,I had a student allowance, holiday work and I went to university before the current tuition fees were introduced. Like John Key, I was a state house kid. Unlike John Key , I recognise the support my family and I got with housing, healthcare and education.
    To suggest that poor people might be helped by the well-off redistributing share dividends is an anathema to me. The way to support those less fortunate than ourselves is through a fair tax system which funds good social services.


  23. TraceyS says:

    Since you have shared, I will share too. At the age of 14 my father decided that I’d have to buy my own clothes, underwear and sanitary requirements, even though I had only occasional weekend work in the local pub kitchen. These items simply stopped being bought for me and I had to use the savings from my Post Office account saved up at 50c a week since I was five. He always had money to buy booze, smokes, gamble, and other stuff like that.

    Two years later his new wife kicked me out of the house. I got a job and boarded with an elderly woman. Then my father decided to leave town and left me with the responsibility for sorting the care of my younger school-aged brother. Suffering from stress I was asked to leave my job and a found another one in a rough part of the city where I was regularly verbally abused by drunk and drugged members of the public visiting the nearby Social Welfare office. I was 16 years old.

    I found a better job and at eighteen started studying at my own expense with no family or government support. I worked/studied 19 hours a day during the week. A senior manager at the firm told me one afternoon that what I needed was a “sugar daddy”.
    His wife (one of my former teachers) sold me a managed fund which I increased contributions to every time I got a pay rise. Nearly ten years later I had paid $21,000 and the fund was worth $14,000. But it was enough to pay off my student loan. Future investments were much more successful.

    My childhood ended when I was 14. The years before that were frequently cold, hungry, deprived, and oppressive. Despite being bright at school, University was never mentioned, not even once. It was simply not for kids like me. When I first enrolled, I was ashamed to tell people. It didn’t feel like my right to be there.

    Three things helped me to overcome these beginnings:

    1) Employers who contributed to my education.
    2) Early investment in property.
    3) Lots of very hard work.

    My father was a socialist who believed that the State had a responsibility to look after his children. It was a cop out of course. He talked often about his communist ideas and looked scornfully upon the ‘haves’, criticising them constantly. However, I adopted capitalist ideas while still very young and it saved me.

    You accused me of a “Marie Antoinette moment”. I hope you can see now how silly that was.


  24. homepaddock says:

    “Unlike John Key , I recognise the support my family and I got with housing, healthcare and education.”

    Wrong, Viv. He often speaks of the help his family and he got and that is why he believes in the safety net of welfare and otehr social services for those who need it. But he also believes in helping people who can help themselves to do so rather than let them stay poor and dependent.


  25. homepaddock says:

    It’s a credit to your strength and commitment that you have been able to triumph over awful experiences and circumstances and give your children a far more secure, stable and loving childhood than you had yourself.


  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    Then how do you explain this quote from inland revenue that I linked to earlier:

    “What happens when you sell your investment property”

    Generally, you don’t need to pay tax when you sell your investment property except for any depreciation recovered.”


  27. TraceyS says:

    Thank you.


  28. TraceyS says:

    One thing you learn from the personal experience of overcoming poverty is never to give up on yourself. That tends to be the way you come to look at others too.


  29. TraceyS says:

    I believe that the Prime Minister was pointing out the fact that the further your tax rate is from 0%, the less incentive there is to work towards a higher income. At 10% the incentive would be high, at 50% – a lot less, and at 100% – non-existent. Just like he said.

    In New Zealand, the effective tax rate for a family (single earner, two children) earning $48,000 and upwards is 50-55% for any pay increases received. This is because as income increases so does the tax rate and the abatement of Working For Families. This effect operates all the way up to the threshold. So it takes a long time to overcome the combined effect of 30% tax and WFF abatement. Many families probably never will.

    A socialist government will be pleased with this because it entrenches and reinforces the majority of people’s dependence on the State. And it makes the pay increase offers of Employers far less potent than they would be if WFF funding was instead used to decrease tax rates.

    This is a perfect way to hamper people’s ambition and keep them in their place. Much like the old Union award agreements that also, for their part, kept people entrenched within a predetermined social order from which there was little chance of escape.


  30. TraceyS says:

    If the gain is incidental you generally aren’t taxed. If you’re in the business of trading houses, or developing property, then you do pay tax on capital gains.

    Same goes for machinery, shares, or any other asset.

    It’s fair to let incidental capital gains not be taxed. Imagine a house bought in 1970 as a holiday crib (or bach, depending on which end of the country). It might have cost $5,000 at the time. Now it’s worth $190,000. Tax should be paid on $185,000? Really! Why? Why does the government need to do that…

    That would be a tax on property care, committedness, foresight, family values, and good fortune would it not?


  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    I hope every one watched the “Mind The Gap” documentary.


  32. Viv K says:

    Other than the use of a state house for a few years my family did not get welfare, but socialist policies such as free education meant none of us stayed dependent and poor.


  33. homepaddock says:

    Dave – when I saw a promo quoting matters of debate as gospel I lost interest.

    Viv – Support for public funding of education and health services, and welfare, isn’t confined to socialists.


  34. TraceyS says:

    I watched it all Dave. It was biased and oversimplified in places but I accept that the intention was to promote a message. It’s up to the viewer whether they buy this or not. Nevertheless, it was very interesting.

    One thing that was not really addressed is that inequality is not just about money. It’s as much about time and the quality of that time, as Charles Handy (http://aurora.icaap.org/index.php/aurora/article/view/52/65) points out:

    “The bad news is that leisure is becoming unequally spread over the population. People working in the core of organizations have to work more hours, more intensely, and have less time to do anything other than work. They are the people who say, “I haven’t seen my home in daylight for the last six months, and I can never remember the name of our dog.” Their lives are totally dominated by their work. By the time they are ready to enjoy some leisure time, they are probably seriously ill because they have been working too hard and are under too much stress.”

    Often these people are earning very good incomes, but they are also making sacrifices.

    “Then there is a large section of the population that has too much leisure, and when you have too much leisure, it doesn’t feel like leisure. It feels like unemployment or underemployment. These people don’t have the money for active leisure. It takes money to go skiing, to go sailing, or to play golf. They only have the money to watch television. So they lose out in all sorts of ways.”

    Taking more tax from the first group to give to the latter hardly seems fair. Conversely, would taking time from the latter to give to the former seem fair?


  35. Viv K says:

    Your father wrongly claimed socialism meant he could walk away from his parental responsibilities. That you rose above such a disadvantaged start is admirable, but doesn’t justify the current neo-liberal economic system.


  36. Viv K says:

    “Support for public funding of education and health services, and welfare, isn’t confined to socialists.”
    This government is cutting support and funding for these services. Paula Bennett benefited from government help to study when she was a solo mum and after she had climbed out of her situation she kicked the ladder away so that others couldn’t follow.


  37. homepaddock says:

    This government has increased spending for health and education and is putting more money into helping people get off welfare.

    Some of National’s welfare changes are costing more in the short term for medium to long term benefit.

    As an example social agencies like the Salvation Money are paid to provide one on one support for young solo mothers to help them care for their child/children and get education or training. A teenage mother who gets a qualification might be on welfare for five years, those without any are likely to be on welfare for 20 years. That’s not good for them, their children, society or the taxpayer.


  38. TraceyS says:

    There is still more help these days than there was in the past, Viv. My sister-in-law, whose elder children are now aged 16 and 19 paid around $5 an hour each for them to attend daycare and there was no WFF back then. They were on a low income too and interest rates were rocketing.

    If the system isn’t rationalised periodically then it is likely to eventually fall over.

    Some of the recent changes to incentives definitely seem to be geared towards encouraging people to succeed through work rather than study. What’s wrong with this when our unemployment level is what it is?


  39. Dave Kennedy says:

    It was such a pity that the Government cut the training incentive allowance that supported higher qualifications that Paula and Metiria used when they were solo mums. Sadly many solo parents are now forced into low waged jobs that trap them into a cycle of poverty.


  40. Dave Kennedy says:

    I found “The Spirit Level” book enlightening because it clearly demonstrates how inequities cause all levels of society to suffer. Recommended reading. New Zealand suffers all the expensive ills of a seriously unequal society: high rate of teenage pregnancies, high imprisonment rate, poor child health and welfare statistics, high suicide rates, disparities in educational achievement… All these costs the country billions to deal with.

    I also found it hard to understand why tax payers should subsidise wages and landlords’ incomes. Surely all employers should be expected to pay their employees a living wage and not expect the government to top them up? Almost half of all our families can’t live comfortably on their incomes unless they get Government support. If we had a true capitalist economy then Landlords would only be able to charge what the market can afford and it is appalling that taxpayers pay billions to landlords to meet inflated rents. No wonder we have a property bubble and the third most expensive housing in the world.


  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    I would be interested to know what those “matters of debate” were.


  42. Gravedodger says:

    Dave K ‘The Spirit Level’, last nights doco by Bryan Bruce, and all the other wittering about unfairness, widening gap between rich and poor, poverty all ignore the elephant in the room and can be shredded so easily.
    WELFARE destroys pride, self reliance, and desire to make things better in the individual human spirit.

    When introduced it was entirely necessary to relieve abject poverty not the lack of every accoutrement of nz child c2013, was welcomed by a significant majority of the electorate as a temporary relief, hand up social answer.
    Now nearly 80 years later after many increases in delivery and massive expansion of recipient numbers it is just a destructive, entitled, soul destroying calamity for increasing numbers of our citizens.

    I could only get the first third of the Bruce Doco on replay and he made a case for a perception of a growing gap but to measure such things in monetary, consumerism, and life style graphs is complete bollocks.

    The couple in the doco that I was able to view had spredsheats for was it 7 years and he is still stacking shelves for $13.50 an hour, take out the incentive bribe that is WFF and he just might be working for Fulton Hogan or one of the many worker challenged Companies at well over $20 an hour but it is Freekin welfare that keeps them in their miserable world of envy, as for the bint living in two tents at the bottom of the garden, cry me a river, where are the ‘Whanau’, the father/s of the spawn, parents, red cross, Cyfs, social workers, Vincent StPaiul, the city mission, not forgetting the bint herself.


  43. Viv K says:

    The guy with the spreadsheet was not the one who was stacking shelves, shows how much attention you paid. The point about WFF, is that it is being used as a taxpayer subsidy for employers who are not paying their staff a living wage. What I found most interesting was the continual increase in productivity which was NOT reflected in wage rates. It showed that workers are being ripped off by corporates who are pocketing the gains made. (btw Tracey, before you get on your high horse, I don’t mean you, I hope your business is more like the bus company )


  44. TraceyS says:

    “I also found it hard to understand why tax payers should subsidise wages and landlords’ incomes.”

    Because these top-ups foster dependency on the State from which it is difficult to wean people away from. It cannot be done dramatically. It is always easier to give than it is to get it back when the givers are giving other people’s money.

    Did employers expect the government to top up wages initially? Or did the government offer to do it? Could there have been other ways to help people without fostering dependency? Of course there were.

    Did landlords ask the government to introduce the accommodation allowance? If the problem of unaffordability was addressed back (guessing about 15 years ago) then maybe we would not have the dependency issues we have today.


  45. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger I totally agree with you that welfare destroys pride and for many is a humiliating experience. We may never return to New Zealand’s egalitarian past when one income could support a family and anyone prepared to work 40-50 hours could live comfortably on their income but we could move again in that direction.

    Your suggestion that those working on low wages should just get another job, but sadly most jobs pay low wages and many are trapped doing casual work where they have no guarantee of hours but have to be available anyway. The median weekly income for those earning salaries or wages is only $806 before tax so half of wage earners earn that or less. The median income from all sources is $560 a week. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/Income/NZIncomeSurvey_HOTPJun12qtr.aspx

    However of our 193 wealthiest New Zealanders (whose wealth or assets are between $50 million to $2 billion manage to avoid most taxes:
    – 32 (almost 20%) filed no tax returns at all
    -107 declared that their personal income is less than $70,000

    We are approaching a crisis similar to the US where the majority of the tax burden is on the middle class because the richest pay little to nil even though their share of income is greater than all the rest.

    There is no longer enough money in many states to maintain basic infrastructure such as roads and sewage systems and public servants such as teachers and police are having to have pay cuts.

    The recession actually ended here three years ago for our wealthiest but the Government has not managed to increase revenue by much over this time. The tax cuts National gave the rich was not fiscally neutral and we have lost around $7 billion in revenue because of them. We are having to cut state services and sell off assets to balance our books. In Southland we have had our road funding cut by 25%.

    We need to do what Michael Savage did to boost the economy and allow all New zealanders to benefit: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/lessons-in-history.html


  46. TraceyS says:

    Yes Viv, our business is very much like the bus company.

    One of our staff said yesterday that he and his wife have never been better off under this Government.

    And David Cunliffe wants to tax us more.

    WFF should never have been introduced. Can the Labour Party not see ahead to the implications of their decisions?

    It is rich to say employers are using WFF as a subsidy. And if they are, well it was the Labour Party who gave it to them! What were they thinking?


  47. homepaddock says:

    At last – some common ground! I don’t think tax payers should subsidise wages and landlords’ incomes either. WFF might be okay at the very bottom to ensure people are better off working than on welfare but giving middle and upper income people top-ups is not.

    National has cut it back a bit at the upper end but it was an election bribe (by Helen Clark) and as Tracey says below, very difficult to reverse.


  48. Dave Kennedy says:

    Agreed, Viv, to give some examples:

    Australian owned Kidicorp owns most childcare centres in New Zealand and keeps staffing costs low by employing a minimum of experienced teachers. It is making excellent profits and was even caught out over-claiming $1.6 million from the Ministry. Unqualified childcare workers are barely above the minimum income.

    Ryman owns many of our rest homes and has been notching up record profits (about 20% increase per year) but pay their workers a little over the minimum wage.

    In both cases the New Zealand taxpayer is subsidising the wages of these workers.


  49. Dave Kennedy says:

    Because people get trapped in low waged jobs.


  50. Roger Barton says:

    Last year I employed some senior secondary school students for a labouring job. Manual rock picking…not easy work but do it as a team and it gets done. Most of the team were rugby players used to a hard 80 minutes of activity. ( I thought) Pay rate was$18 per hour and they were well fed on site. After 2 hours 2 of the seven packed it in. I was somewhat miffed. At the end of the day I announced that who ever returned would be on $20 per hour. Only one of the original seven returned. Anyone I spoke to thought the pay rate was above what they would have offered for the type of work. As the boss I rock picked for every minute they did and iI will guarantee my work rate was double their’s. I’m over 50 with dodgy hips. Quite frankly I’m sick of whining excuses about not enough jobs. We need a step change in attitude to work. I found a replacement gang and we did get completed over 3 weekends.
    Dave… I want your opinion….we’re they ” trapped” in a low wage job or did they just want easy pickings?


  51. Dave Kennedy says:

    Roger, I think that your group of 17 year olds were probably not used to hard physical work and probably most of them will end up working hard in a job that doesn’t involve picking up rocks. We also have a number of young men who have never had a father in their lives to mentor them and provide a male role model (there are few male teachers too). I think the student army in Christchurch opened many peoples eyes regarding how great our young people really are.

    My daughter chose to leave school after year 12 and doing year thirteen through correspondence. She is managing top marks in her study and is working at the Warehouse. She wants to go to uni but finish her study debt free. My son is in his second year of University his chosen area of study is very time intensive and he works long hours to get his great results. I’m not sure how long either of my kids would have lasted picking up rocks but from my perspective most of the young people I know have a better work ethic than in my generation and are better rounded in their knowledge.

    When I was a youth in the 70s there were many more apprenticeships and employers spent more time mentoring young people into jobs. Now many young people compete with older people for jobs and there are often few allowances for their youth, inexperience and and immaturity. When I started teaching all schools had beginning teacher positions and classes were hand picked so that they could get to grips with the job without having to deal with high needs and difficult children. Now they compete with experienced teachers for jobs and their first class can be as challenging as any they may get in their career, this isn’t good for them or the kids.

    The pressure on many young people is great and this probably also explains why we have one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world.


  52. TraceyS says:

    It should have had a time limit too, say a maximum of three years per person. Poverty should be a passage, not a destination. Many people pass through poverty unharmed and some are even better for it.

    Permanent support at a high level reinforces that you have arrived and will go no further. Why are we surprised that so many people have reached this point?

    Why does Helen Clark’s Labour Party not have the antidote?


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