Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Labour Courting The Middle Classes Again

Press release: 17 July 2008

Labour Courting The Middle Classes Again

University of Auckland lecturer, Dr Louise Humpage, says the Government is courting the middle classes again following the news that it is costing a universal student allowance.

"Many students are struggling and a universal allowance would help to reduce student debt," Dr Humpage says, "but there seems to be a degree of favouritism going on here. Student allowances, like New Zealand Superannuation, already received a top-up in the Budget while benefits were left at a miserly level. Just like Working for Families, the middle-income families will benefit more from a universal student allowance than those already living in poverty".

Research conducted by Dr Humpage indicates that the recent increases to special needs grants have done little to offset the fact that benefits are near impossible to live on.

"One research participant who is on the Invalid's benefit pays $550 a month in prescription costs. Another on the Domestic Purposes Benefit explained how one $50 visit to an emergency clinic completely blew her budget and left her struggling to feed her kids for the next fortnight. These stories are not unusual: they are the everyday reality for people on benefits".

The Ministry of Social Development's own research confirms this, with 54% of households relying on an income-tested benefit reported in 2007 to be living below the 60% threshold of a reputed measure of poverty.

Dr Humpage is particularly concerned that the Government indicated a further shift towards a single 'core benefit' earlier this month.

"This is supposed to remove the stigma of receiving a benefit. My research indicates there is really only one way to achieve that: increase benefits to a level where beneficiaries can afford to feed their kids and pay their electricity bill without having to beg from friends and family or resort to money lenders that land them further in debt".


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election