Friday, April 01, 2016

Govt closes gap between benefit and employment income

Today beneficiary parents receive a pay rise of $25 weekly or $1,300 yearly.

It is impossible without asking an OIA question to know exactly what that means in terms of percentage rise. That's because even though basic rates are known and constant, all the add-ons vary individually.

The last time the government published an average beneficiary payment was 2013:

An average sole parent with two children under thirteen, living in South Auckland would receive around $642 on benefit, including accommodation supplement and a minimal extra allowance for costs.
As benefits are inflation proofed (though add-ons aren't) that would increase to $647.95 in the last quarter of 2015.

With today's increase she  would be receiving $673 a week.

The best figure to compare that to is the average weekly incomes from wages and salaries:

Female $752
Female Maori $723
Female Pacific $698

Either sex aged:

15-19 $345
20-24 $698
25-29 $852

The table I am quoting doesn't provide gender breakdown with age but female rates are overall  consistently lower than male.

So, all in all, for a young  sole mother - particularly Maori or Pacific -  $673 is looking fairly attractive.

Yes, the work-testing has been extended to part-time (20 hours) for mothers with youngest child aged 3.

But the work obligations are only ever useful in places where there are jobs.

It'll be interesting to observe the behavioural changes over the coming 2-3 years.

Remember that the early work-testing policy implemented to stop people adding children to an existing benefit has already failed.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Now that's a scary thought

There probably are as many persons coerced into acting, not as they want, but as others want, through majority rule as through totalitarian dictatorship.

– John C. Sparks, The Freeman [May 1971]

(hat-tip FFF)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Grant Robertson's baseless claims

According to Grant Robertson today:
"New Zealand’s growth per person is significantly lower than countries like the UK and America, showing our economy is driven by population growth rather than productivity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Along with flat per person growth, we have seen a fall in per capita real incomes. This means on average Kiwis are getting poorer. That’s because the key driver is population growth, not new businesses, industries and exports which is what’s needed to boost growth per person."

I queried the OECD database for GDP per capita between 2008 and 2015:

(Left-click to enlarge)

This shows that the growth in the UK was 2.4%; in the US, 4.4% and in NZ, 7.5 %

Here's the data graphed.

No NZ isn't flash overall but it's comparatively  better now than it was when Labour left office.

Robertson even included Japan in his headline yet their growth was lower than the UK or US between 2008 and 2014.

Monday, March 28, 2016

What globalisation looks like

Idly reading an article I was captured by the photo.

What city is that a photo from, I wondered?

I can see 3 or 4 Asian looking people, maybe a Philippine, 2 or 3 Caucasian people, a tall black man, someone who looks slightly eastern European or even middle eastern.

It just intrigued me because I can only partly see the trains logo.

Then I checked the source - the Fraser Institute. So Canada. I googled Canadian Subway logos and found this.

Toronto. Without the source clues I never would have guessed.

Globalisation. It's a wonderful thing.

Crowded subway trains are not.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Distribution of preference for new flag by electorate

Another graph from David. I don't know enough off the top of my head to see the pattern but he says the pro-change vote aligns to National seats, particularly in the South Island. Also the strong no-change vote in Winston country. Obviously the Maori seats are excluded in this picture. They all voted strongly for the status quo (but with low turn-out).

(Left-click to enlarge image)