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Carmel Sepuloni : Tinkering with welfare and the victims are beneficiaries.
With little fanfare, Labour announces its welfare policy - and its horrible.

WITH Labour restating again there will definitely be no capital gains tax under its watch and announcing a mere cosmetic fiddle with the country's tax regime, the wealthy have had much to celebrate. They have certainly benefited from Jacinda Arden's 'kindness'. Throughout the country, New Zealand's rich elite have been nodding their heads and agreeing with each other that Jacinda has indeed been a pleasure to work with. Gosh, they might even vote for her.

Why wouldn't they? As commentator Bernard Hickey has noted, ''Reserve Bank figures show households that own property and have money in stocks and term deposits made over $250 billion of tax-free capital gains in Labour's first term'.

At the other end of town though the working class has been given a boiled egg to suck on by Labour. After promising during its 2017 election campaign a radical shake-up of welfare that would be of direct benefit to beneficiaries, exactly nothing much happened once Labour was safely installed in office. In 2019 it even rejected most of the recommendations of its welfare working group which would of gone some way to transforming the welfare system. Incidentally, the Green Party did not raise a fuss - it actually joined Labour in rejecting the recommendations.

When a political party releases policy on a Saturday morning, you just know its not that keen to talk about it. Such is the case with Labour's welfare policy announced by Carmel Sepuloni, Labour's spokesperson on welfare. Labour have gone from transformation to minor tinkering, and the victims are largely the very people who voted for Labour in 2017. Despite the growing levels of poverty and desperation, Labour has no intention to either increase core benefits or remove the cursed sanctions regime.

During its first term in office Labour supporters were conveniently able to blame New Zealand First for its failure to push through its progressive policies. But despite the fact Labour is no longer entangled with New Zealand First, Jacinda Ardern has already restated her opposition to a capital gains tax and, wait there's more, there's nothing in the larder for beneficiaries. These policies are all Labour's own work and - it believes in them.

Meanwhile, thanks to the wage subsidy, some companies are recording substantial profits and that profit is making its way into the pockets of wealthy shareholders. Ah, the wonders of the 'free market'...

This post first appeared on AGAINST THE CURRENT, please read the originial post: here

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