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 Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news