The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Kicking down and pulling up the ladder

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Kicking down and pulling up the ladder

Upston plans to kick many more off benefits; Simeon Brown dumps bridge cycling, walking plans; Work on big Du Val projects stops with subbies unpaid; Stats NZ can't afford fresh inflation data
Louise Upston said people sanctioned from receiving the benefit could be supported by friends and family. Anti-poverty activists say many instead fall into chronic homelessness. Photo by Lynn Grieveson for The Kākā

TL;DR: Thousands of beneficiaries are set to be kicked off their benefits in coming months for not trying hard enough to get work after Social Development Minister Louise Upston signalled a new crackdown over the weekend.

The crackdown will happen despite Aotearoa-NZ having the third highest workforce participation rate in the OECD behind Iceland and Sweden, the most income-stressed renters in the developed world, and having record high net migration of workers on temporary work visas. Upston said she was not sure how these beneficiaries would survive without income from the benefit, but suggested a few options.

“They might go with family, they might go with friends, there might be others that look after them.” Louise Upston in an interview on Q+A yesterday via 1News

Elsewhere in the news in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy and beyond at 8 am:

  • Speaker of Parliament Gerry Brownlee has granted swipe card access to the four lobbyists he won’t name for ‘privacy reasons’. They were named in previous Parliaments, RNZ’s Guyon Espiner reported this morning.

  • Transport Minister Simeon Brown ruled out any spending on infrastructure for cycling on the Auckland Harbour Bridge or on rail in any second harbour crossing in a speech on Friday. NZ Herald Simon Wilson

  • ANZ Chief Economist Sharon Zollner changed her OCR call to two more hikes to 6% by April from no more hikes in this note on Friday afternoon.

  • Stats NZ told incoming Statistics Minister Andrew Bayly in a briefing “we currently do not have the funding available to update the CPI basket to ensure it is fully representative of the goods and services that New Zealand households are purchasing.” Gareth Vaughan

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Govt targets 190,000 beneficiaries for sanctions

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