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Playing team tag with policy

www.democrats.org.nz

3 November 2011
Playing team tag with policy

“Although on opposite sides of the House, Labour and National have played team tag when it comes to policy” said Katherine Ransom, DSC Social Issues Spokesman and Tauranga electorate candidate. “While National panders to the prejudices of supporters who assume that if you’re poor and out of a job you aren’t trying hard enough Labour is happy to bleat out the ‘unpopular’ stuff. They may look brave now, but they’ll look like lap dogs when the Nats go ahead and pass the policies Labour campaigned on.

“In fact neither party’s policies are going to fix the problems that face New Zealand this election. The squeezing of beneficiaries is merely spin, as the rules have already been in place for over a year, with no effect on unemployment. John Key could announce still harsher welfare reforms, but they still don’t create jobs.

“Jobs are not the issue when it comes to GDP. Even in the good times the job market was shrinking, as more and more, technology and machinery take over the work. Rather than relying on PAYE, revenue collection should be reformed to a small transactions tax that all pay.

Labour raising the retirement age is a sad ‘me too’ move, and not well thought out. Delaying the day older people get their Super will only make youth unemployment worse. At a time when community organisations are crying out for more volunteers, extending the Super entitlement age is a stupidity. Retirees, who make up the bulk of the volunteer work force, which contributes billions of dollars to the economy, will have fewer active years to do this work. Demonise seniors as a drain on the economy and Labour shoots itself in the foot.

“What will it cost the taxpayer to take up the slack, or to deal with negative outcomes, when community organisations are unable to find sufficient volunteer staff to do the work? The obsession with paid work renders unpaid work invisible and discounted. Only when the unpaid work stops does anyone notice the damage to families and society.

“The average life expectancy is not good a reason for this policy. Many people are living longer, but a lot aren’t. A whole section of society Maori, Pacific Islanders, the working poor of all races have experienced such hard labour, deprivation and poor health that their life expectancy is fully ten years less than more affluent sections of society. To put any chance of retirement out of reach of so many people could be a human rights violation.

“Under a Democrats for Social Credit government, the targeted, punitive welfare system, including superannuation, will be retired in favour of a guaranteed basic income for all residents. People caring for dependants old or young will be rewarded for their valuable work, instead of demonised as welfare recipients. People can work as long as they are able, and retire when they choose. Families will be able to feed their children properly, and local business will thrive.

“It’s a nobrainer, really.”

ENDS

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