Social Devastation 101
It’s not National’s fault that there was a global recession, there is an irony that National wish to enact the very same free market deregulation that caused the global recession, but it’s seeds are not John Key’s to own.
However his Governments ill conceived response to date certainly is his legacy. More comment today about the growing tsunami from the W recession that is about to hit NZ, and to date, John Key’s response to this tsunami is the Government standing on the beach with an umbrella.
Unemployment will go well above the 7% National have claimed it will peak at, and as I have posted numerous times, this recession demands a response well above what this Government have offered, we know recessions damage our society...
Richie Poulton and David Craig: Crisis may just be starting for poor
Responding to recent rising unemployment figures, Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett's response was to point to positive signs in the end of the recession and in falling numbers actually eligible to receive the unemployment benefit. And a decision to increase training opportunities for young people.
Business New Zealand's Phil O'Reilly noted: "It is very hard for unemployed people and their families. We do however have a sound unemployment support system and there are many public-private initiatives under way to help provide employment for those affected."
This week's release of the New Zealand Children's Social Health Monitor (www.nzchildren.co.nz) however raises important questions about whether the crisis has passed, and whether youth training will do the job. The report, launched at the New Zealand Paediatric Society's conference, was put together by a consortium of health researchers through the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, which supports DHBs and government around child illness and its causal factors.
It summarises extensive research, including New Zealand's own lifecourse studies of children's wellbeing, which suggests that children exposed to low family income in the early years, in addition to experiencing higher hospital admissions and mortality in the short term, also have worse long-term results.
This includes poorer cardiovascular and oral health, and an increased chance of becoming dependent on alcohol. Critically, moving out of poverty by adulthood, otherwise known as upward social mobility, does not appear to mitigate or reverse the long-term damage associated with childhood disadvantage. Worse, the negative consequences go well beyond the physical realm, and include leaving school early and without qualifications, being unemployed in later life, and falling into an intergenerational cycle of early parenthood and disadvantage.
Much of this is established scientific fact. But this report also points forward, reminding that in the previous recession, recovery of employment and incomes among families with young children was slow.
And just as the public turn in desperation to public services they will increasingly be reliant on. Bill English swings the axe on budgets…
Get ready for Budget axe, warns English
Finance Minister Bill English is sharpening the axe for big spending cuts in next year's Budget. Warning of more red ink in next month's half-yearly economic update, Mr English said yesterday that greater spending restraint would be needed just to keep debt levels on their current track. He said no sector or government department was immune. He also confirmed the Government had dropped the previous commitment to add $750 million each year to the health budget. The comments prompted Labour to warn people to expect "the father of all budgets" next year, with "savage" cuts to ACC, education and health.
Forget the power saving lightbulbs and water saving shower heads of the talkhate radio Nanny State myth, the Daddy State is about to offer up the Father-Fucker of all budgets.
How is that change feeling?