Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Oral Questions July 22 - PQ3 Transcript

3. Families—Government Support
[Sitting date: 22 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:2. Text is subject to correction.]
3. JAMI-LEE ROSS (National - Botany) to the Minister of Finance : What measures has the Government taken to support New Zealand families – particularly through delivering better public services to those most in need?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): Two years ago the Prime Minister set 10 challenging results targets for Ministers and the Public Service, which focus on helping some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. These targets are transparent and updated publicly every 6 months. The latest update yesterday confirmed that the Government is making good overall progress in reducing welfare dependency, supporting vulnerable children, boosting skills in employment, reducing crime, and improving citizens’ interaction with the Government. More school-leavers are retaining National Certificate of Educational Achievement level 2, for instance. More New Zealanders are moving off welfare into work, and crime is falling. As we said yesterday, there is more to do in some areas, but overall these indicators show that we are moving in the right direction on some of our more challenging social problems.
Jami-Lee Ross : Why did the Government set 10 challenging Public Service targets 2 years ago?
Hon BILL ENGLISH : Because we found that the Public Service, which had had large amounts of extra money up to 2008, was not thinking hard enough about what results the Government was trying to achieve for people, whereas it was quite good at thinking about how to get more funding for its departments. We also felt that the Government should put itself to the test by being held accountable as to whether it was achieving for New Zealanders the kind of results that taxpayers expect when they hand over billions of dollars a year to be spent on public services. What we have learnt from this exercise is that what works for the community—a safer community, a stronger community—is also good for the Government’s books.
Hon David Parker : Has he asked the Minister responsible for Better Public Services result No. 8, the Hon Judith Collins, why she did not inform him in 2012 that she knew that recorded crime statistics in her own electorate and South Auckland were incorrect, thus undermining the integrity of the Better Public Services results; and, if she did ask her, what was her answer; and, if he did not ask her, why has he not?
Hon BILL ENGLISH : I expect that the Minister was not asked that question. Crime is clearly falling. The police—
Hon Member : No, it’s not.
Hon BILL ENGLISH : Well, it is—[Interruption]
Mr SPEAKER : Order! Thank you.
Hon BILL ENGLISH : We know the Labour Party does not trust the police, but we do. The Police Commissioner—
Hon David Parker : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is question time. My question was specific. It had two parts. But it is not an opportunity for the Deputy Prime Minister to misrepresent Labour Party policy.
Mr SPEAKER : Order! I struggle to accept the member’s point that the question was specific. It was quite a long question. I accept it was in two parts. I attempted to write it down. I guess the way forward is to invite the member to ask his question again, but if he could make it more succinct it would help me perhaps get the answer the member might be expecting.
Hon David Parker : Thank you, Mr Speaker. Has he asked the Minister responsible for Better Public Services result No. 8, the Hon Judith Collins, why she did not inform him in 2012 that she knew that recorded crime statistics in her own electorate and South Auckland were incorrect; and, if he has not, why has he not asked her?
Hon BILL ENGLISH : No. The subsequent comments of the Minister of Police have indicated that the police have moved to deal with what they are quite sure is a one-off situation. This is a matter of trust in the police. The Government trusts the police. The Opposition clearly does not. But the public do, and that is not the first time the Opposition has been out of step.
Jami-Lee Ross : What recent reports has the Minister received on the impact of the Government’s significant support programmes on household incomes?
Hon BILL ENGLISH : I have received the latest annual household incomes report from the Ministry of Social Development, which is regarded as the most authoritative analysis on incomes in New Zealand. It notes that income inequality has been volatile in recent years, with the global financial crisis impacting on investment returns, employment, and wages. It concludes that there is no evidence of any general rise or fall in income inequality since the mid-1990s. The trend line is almost flat, and some people who have looked at it say that it is falling. There is no evidence of any general rise or fall in income inequality since the mid-1990s, so those who claim that income inequality in New Zealand is getting worse—that is, those who claim the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer—are simply not correct. The facts show that that is not the case.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news