Here’s my fast take on news and views of the week.
POVERTY vs NEGLECT
Current poverty measures are largely made up of income related statistics. The Child Poverty Reduction Bill makes some attempt to measure other things such as material hardship, but these are still all end measures. Shouldn’t we instead also measure contributing factors of deprivation and neglect? For example, how many times a child has moved home or school, has received their vaccinations or are otherwise having their health monitored, has had regular visits to the dentist, days off school due to sickness, exposure to drug or alcohol abuse at home, or domestic violence? Are their parents or caregivers employed, in jail, or on benefits? This is something ACT will be drawing attention to in the upcoming third reading of the bill.
Last week I wrote about the suggestion that a woman’s life expectancy should mean she collects the pension later than a man. In this piece, Jenesa Jeram of the NZ Initiative takes that a little further, but still arrives at the conclusion that it would not be administratively simple, and would be politically fraught. She also points out that raising the pension age is not just about affordability. Is it moral to accept payment effectively from those working who are still trying to get ahead?
“Perhaps, if there is no better use of taxpayers' money, keeping the pension age at 65 would be more palatable. But at a time when there is child poverty and families working hard just to make ends meet, transferring taxpayers' money from the working poor to relatively wealthy seems rather imprudent – and distasteful.”
Jenesa spoke at ACT’s annual conference earlier this year.
ANXIETY IS NORMAL
Provided it’s not a constant state, anxiety is a normal emotion, and yet we seem to be hell-bent on eliminating anxiety altogether from young people’s range of emotional experiences. This does not help them learn to recognise it, use it in a healthy way to make changes, deal with the cause where they have the power to do so, or seek help. At least I am not the only person who thinks this is nuts.
WE ARE NOT ALONE
"This latest round of amendments, aimed basically at unwinding the previous amendments made a little over a year ago, just reinforces the need to stop tinkering around the edges of the act and put the whole system under the microscope to start delivering the environmental protections and accommodate the growth and economic development that New Zealand needs," said chief executive of EMA, Kim Campbell.
STRUGGLE STREET RENTALS UP BY $30 PER WEEK
Ashley Church gave an excellent interview earlier this week on the reasons for rent increases, far better than the chap who appeared before him.
HOW POPULIST ARE YOU?
Try this quiz to find out. It’s American so be aware of the difference in terms used.
Did you get this result?
Have a great weekend!
Deputy Leader / Vice President