Friday, September 29, 2023

Pure class warfare

National unveiled its fiscal policy today, announcing all the usual things which business cares about and I don't. But it did finally tell us how National plans to pay for its handouts to landlords: by effectively cutting benefits:

The biggest saving announced on Friday was $2b cut from the amount forecast to be spent on benefits over the four-year forecast period.

In 2019, Labour indexed benefits to wages, rather than CPI inflation, meaning benefit levels increase more quickly. New Zealand’s main benefit, superannuation, is indexed to wages too.

National wants to change this back, costing someone receiving the basic rate of jobseeker $33 a week by the end of the forecast period. The benefit payments will still go up, but not by as much.

"Still go up, but not by as much" nicely obscures the fact that this is effectively a cut, made worse by the fact that poor see higher inflation than the rich because of what they buy.

So, National's plan is to rip $2 billion directly out of the pockets of the poorest kiwis, in order to give that money to rich landlords. There is a name for that: it is pure class warfare.