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


National’s ‘costings’ not all they seem

12 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

National’s ‘costings’ not all they seem

A manufactured ‘crisis’, similar to that suffered by ACC, could be on the cards for New Zealand’s welfare system if Paula Bennett continues with her so-called 'investment' agenda, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Ms Bennett released an actuarial valuation of the future cost of welfare benefits in New Zealand yesterday.

“It was an $800,000-plus taxpayer funded accounting exercise which told us little that we didn't already know about where the main welfare costs and risks are arising from.

“Such valuations are known to be unreliable, and are used for instance by people wanting to invest in insurance markets. Even the company who carried out the exercise admit they have never done this kind of work for an entire welfare system before.

“Which begs the question: Why is the Government really doing this? It certainly appears there is a much bigger agenda on the cards.

“The company that conducted this exercise, Taylor Fry, is an Australian company which specialises in actuarial valuations for the insurance sector, and is the same company that advised the Government on the actuarial valuation and monitoring of ACC back in 2010.

“That result of that was that then ACC Minister, Nick Smith, concocted a crisis that hadn't previously existed. That in turn led to the kinds of ill-treatment of ACC claimants that New Zealanders now deplore.

“Cabinet papers reveal the 'investment' agenda for welfare includes an incentive-based regime that perversely could cut the Ministry of Social Development's operating budget if it fails to meet reductions in the estimated future welfare liability, as outlined by Taylor Fry.

“We have already seen what regimes like this do: they reduce the focus on individuals in favour of the bottom line, and clients are treated with disdain.

“Of course we need to do all we can to move people into work and a better future, but turning our welfare system into a pseudo-insurance regime is not the way to achieve that.

“We certainly didn't need to waste nearly a million dollars on a report that helped keep people in an office in Sydney busy, but won't produce a single new job for anyone in New Zealand,” said Jacinda Ardern


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Uncanny Valley Of Tokyo 2020

For all involved, this year’s Olympic Games have called for a willing suspension of anxiety. For now at least, the displays of skill and agility have been compelling enough to muffle some of the previous misgivings about the wisdom of asking athletes from all corners of the world to converge in one place in the middle of a pandemic, and at the height of a Tokyo summer... More>>



Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

Government: Cabinet Accepts Turkish Authorities’ Request For The Managed Return Of Three NZ Citizens

Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year... More>>


Government: Quarantine Free Travel With Australia Suspended

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today... More>>


NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels