Scumble – to make less brilliant by covering with a thin coat of opaque or semiopaque colour applied with a nearly dry brush; to apply a colour in this manner; to soften the lines or colors of (a drawing) by rubbing lightly.
When redistributing taxpayers’ money by way of benefits governments can go opt for universality or targeting.
The advantage of universality is that administration is simple.
The disadvantage of universal benefits is that they are very expensive and take no account of need.
Those with more than enough get butter and jam while those without enough still struggle to get bread.
The advantage of targeting is that more money can be given to fewer people, making it easier to help those most in need.
The disadvantages are that administration is more complicated, and therefore costly; and that some people in need might miss out.
In New Zealand superannuation isn’t targeted. One reason for that is that targeting would punish the thrifty.
Really wealthy people would be fine and really poor people would get help. But some of those in the middle who had saved for their retirement would find themselves no better off than those who had not.
That is a good reason for universality for the basic pension but it shouldn’t extend to extras like the winter heating payment which the government is going to pay to all beneficiaries, including superannuitants.
It’s contradictory that they don’t want the rich or even middle income people getting a tax cut but they’re going to give wealthy pensioners money towards their power bill.
Another contradiction is the fee-free study. As Bill English pointed out in parliament last week, the government didn’t want him to have a $1,000 tax cut but will pay his son’s university fees which will cost many thousands of dollars more.
Then there’s the $60 a week baby bonus which is also universal.
The good part of that is that poorer single income families who don’t qualify for parental leave payments will get it. The bad part is the wealthy who don’t need it will also get it.
All these extra payments would be far better targeted to give those in real need more and leave those who are more than capable of looking after themselves to do so.
It often takes more courage to change one’s opinion than to keep it. – Willy Brandt who was born on this day in 1913.
1642 Abel Tasman and his men had the first known European encounter with Maori.
1707 – Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist, was born (d. 1788).
1777 The United States celebrated its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.
1849 – Henrietta Edwards, Canadian activist and author was born (d. 1931).
1863 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, was born (d. 1914).
1878 – Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, was born (d. 1953).
1890 Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (FM radio) was born (d. 1954).
1900 The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria opened.
1908 – Celia Johnson, English actress, was born (d. 1982).
1910 –Eric Tindill, New Zealand cricketer and rugby player, was born (d. 2010).
1913 – Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1992).
1916 Betty Grable, American actress, was born (d. 1973).
1935 – Jacques Pépin, French chef, was born.
1938 Chas Chandler, English musician (The Animals), was born (d. 1996).
1943 Keith Richards, English guitarist (The Rolling Stones), was born.
1946 Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, was born (d. 1977).
1963 – Brad Pitt, American actor and producer was born.
1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
1973 – The Islamic Development Bank was founded.
1999 NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
2006 – The first of a series of floods struck Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding was at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.
2010 – Anti-government protests began in Tunisia, heralding the Arab Spring.
2015 – Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Great Britain, closed.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.