Monday, 10 January 2011

easy targets

with the government deficit blowout, there's going to be a push in the next budget to cut spending (of course, given that tax cuts haven't worked in pushing the country out of recession, it would be heresy of the government to consider reversing them). one of the biggest areas of spending is on social support - for the unemployed, the ill, the elderly, and sole-parents.

unsurprisingly, mr key has been pretty forceful in protecting payments to the elderly, refusing to contemplate raises to the age of eligibility of superannuation & making no mention of cutting or keeping constant the amount paid out. yet the government cut payments to the cullen fund and cut support for employers who paid into kiwisaver, thereby ensuring that there will be less money in the future to meet the expected rise in super costs. but it's hard to vilify older people as a class, because everyone gets old & there's not much that can be done about it.

the unemployed, the ill and sole-parents are much easier targets, even though many who fall into these groups are there through circumstances beyond their control. in some cases, the circumstances may have been better controlled, but the decisions taken were the best in the circumstances. and of course, there are some cases where people are rorting the system. it's usual to use a few examples of the latter to vilify entire groups of people, to try to minimise or erase any sense of empathy, social responsibility or inclusion for these groups.

sole-parents, being largely female, become the easiest target in a society ready to label these women selfish & promiscuous. expect to see a lot more of the same in the coming months, and for life to become increasingly difficult for sole-parents & their children as the state seeks to punish them for failed policies that have led to the recession and budget blowout. as this is a group that is often underpaid & overworked and struggling to keep afloat, there are few opposing voices. those who have dared to oppose government policies have been targetted by a minister of social development who has been willing to reveal partial personal information & has yet to face any consequences for doing so. this is an effective strategy to silence any kind of dissent.

given this, it's nice to see a reasonable response in the herald by donna wynd to a piece from lindsay mitchell that i haven't the stomach to read:

What, then, do we know about sole parents? There are about 160,000 sole-parent households in New Zealand. About 113,000 of these are on a benefit. The number of sole parent beneficiaries has increased markedly since the onset of the recession in late 2008.

This is as expected, as sole-parent employment is highly sensitive to labour market conditions. Despite this, more than 40,000 sole parents, or more than a quarter of the total, are not on a benefit. Clearly there is little economic gain in being on a benefit for a significant proportion of sole parents. This is supported by data that shows consistently that on almost every measure, sole-parent beneficiary households are the most impoverished.

The benefit data shows that most sole parents have children aged under 5, and are off a benefit within four years. Those who stay on benefits for longer periods tend to be older, or much younger.

There has been little research on this but discussions with social workers suggest that some parents are looking after older children who have been de-institutionalised. These older children often have high needs and require constant care.

i'd really recommend the whole piece, though a warning about the comments which are pretty hostile. i continue to be amazed at the vitriol and hatred some people are willing to dish out to others, without even bothering to learn about their individual circumstances. yes, i know i should be used to it, but it's something i never do want to get used to. i hope to continue to be shocked and appalled by this kind of nastiness as long as i live.

16 comments:

niobe said...

The vitriol scares me and the corruption of NZ men is growing.

With the repeal of the Gift Duty we will see New Zealander’s able to transfer relationship property into trusts immediately instead of only being able to transfer 27,000 per year.

This could see maybe 100,000 - 200,000 NZ women loose access to their share of matrimonial property virtually over night as law firms rush to completely transfer assets into the trusts for which there is now no financial penalty or yearly limit.

If NZ women knew about this the National Party would not be re elected.

Most women I have spoken to have no idea about trusts and how they are being used by men to gut the matrimonial property laws of NZ.
There are 400000 to 500000 family trusts in NZ with wives trustees in only about 50% of cases.

There are now 167000 family homes in trusts in NZ. Half of all NZ households where the income is above 250000 have a trust.

Many of those women who's husbands have trusts do not understand that money in family trusts is not considered relationship property if couples split up so have allowed their partners to transfer marital properties into trusts.
If one partner has a business they can transfer that business into a trust without consultation unless it is legally co-owned. That means if the couple divorce the partner usually the wife cannot claim any part of that business even if she has sacrificed her own career for the sake of that business. Lengthy costly court battles are the only option and women’s unpaid contribution is often not recognized. The current laws are not working to protect women in court. Its a his word against hers situation and you know who wins those cases "him! most of the time.
Here's a link to an article by two women lawyers about the situation. Deborah Hollings QC and Suzanne Robertson are Barristers at Bankside Chambers.

http://www.bankside.co.nz/articles/The_repeal_of_gift_duty.pdf

There are also older women who wish to re-marry and protect their property who have these agreements and I guess they favor the removal of gift duty but the thing is many of those women would not have property at all if their first husbands had this type of arrangement which is growing at an alarming rate
This is really game set and match for complete male financial power over women in marriage unless women are very careful to demand legal protection before baring any children. Once you have a lifetime of responsibility in your lap and no guaranteed financial support you will be putty in any male tyrants hands. Businesses can be started after children are born and you will not be able to negotiate your name as a co owner because you cannot afford to leave. Then he transfers it into a trust and that’s the end of any financial security for the mother.
The law has been passed that enables the removal of the gift duty. It hasn't been enacted yet. It may happen September - October. The Nat’s know about this problem as submissions have been made and both English and Key have trusts.

niobe said...

...continued
One thing that really struck me was that lawyers are getting these trusts signed by women who don't know what they are signing. There is no legal obligation for them to tell both partners how these trusts affect divorce claims. That is illegal but the thing is you have to prove your lawyer knew you had no idea. Many of them probably don't know one way or the other as to whether the wife realises what’s going on. That her husband is trying to con her out of her share in property.
Its not just rich men who are getting these trusts. I’ve spoken to several women who have no marital home and are working. Their partner’s are already talking to them about putting their future assets in trusts.
Tell your daughters, your sisters and your mothers girls.
The Nat’s are booting women into the financial gutter.
And you may hear about wealthy men who put large sums of money into trusts in their wives names. Well those trusts are probably set up with those men as trustees not the wife, in which case the wife cannot touch that money anyway and the husband still has control over it.

Niobe said...

One thing that really struck me was that lawyers are getting these trusts signed by women who don't know what they are signing. There is no legal obligation for them to tell both partners how these trusts affect divorce claims. That is illegal but the thing is you have to prove your lawyer knew you had no idea. Many of them probably don't know one way or the other as to whether the wife realises what’s going on. That her husband is trying to con her out of her share in property.
Its not just rich men who are getting these trusts. I’ve spoken to several women who have no marital home and are working. Their partner’s are already talking to them about putting their future assets in trusts.
Tell your daughters, your sisters and your mothers girls.
The Nat’s are booting women into the financial gutter.
And you may hear about wealthy men who put large sums of money into trusts in their wives names. Well those trusts are probably set up with those men as trustees not the wife, in which case the wife cannot touch that money anyway and the husband still has control over it.

Niobe said...

Pt 1

Sorry about this I'm not sure whats going on. I posted this first part sucessfully and now its gone?

The vitriol scares me and the corruption of NZ men is growing.

With the repeal of the Gift Duty we will see New Zealander’s able to transfer relationship property into trusts immediately instead of only being able to transfer 27,000 per year.

This could see maybe 100,000 - 200,000 NZ women loose access to their share of matrimonial property virtually over night as law firms rush to completely transfer assets into the trusts for which there is now no financial penalty or yearly limit.

If NZ women knew about this the National Party would not be re elected.

Most women I have spoken to have no idea about trusts and how they are being used by men to gut the matrimonial property laws of NZ.
There are 400000 to 500000 family trusts in NZ with wives trustees in only about 50% of cases.

There are now 167000 family homes in trusts in NZ. Half of all NZ households where the income is above 250000 have a trust.

Many of those women who's husbands have trusts do not understand that money in family trusts is not considered relationship property if couples split up so have allowed their partners to transfer marital properties into trusts.
If one partner has a business they can transfer that business into a trust without consultation unless it is legally co-owned. That means if the couple divorce the partner usually the wife cannot claim any part of that business even if she has sacrificed her own career for the sake of that business. Lengthy costly court battles are the only option and women’s unpaid contribution is often not recognized. The current laws are not working to protect women in court. Its a his word against hers situation and you know who wins those cases "him! most of the time.
Here's a link to an article by two women lawyers about the situation. Deborah Hollings QC and Suzanne Robertson are Barristers at Bankside Chambers.

http://www.bankside.co.nz/articles/The_repeal_of_gift_duty.pdf

There are also older women who wish to re-marry and protect their property who have these agreements and I guess they favor the removal of gift duty but the thing is many of those women would not have property at all if their first husbands had this type of arrangement which is growing at an alarming rate
This is really game set and match for complete male financial power over women in marriage unless women are very careful to demand legal protection before baring any children. Once you have a lifetime of responsibility in your lap and no guaranteed financial support you will be putty in any male tyrants hands. Businesses can be started after children are born and you will not be able to negotiate your name as a co owner because you cannot afford to leave. Then he transfers it into a trust and that’s the end of any financial security for the mother.
The law has been passed that enables the removal of the gift duty. It hasn't been enacted yet. It may happen September - October. The Nat’s know about this problem as submissions have been made and both English and Key have trusts.

stargazer said...

sorry niobe, for some reason many of your comments are ending up in spam. i've released a couple of them - another 2 appear to be repetitions of what's already here, but let me know if you want to have these released as well.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

How you know it is a "reasonable response" if you haven't read my piece?

stargazer said...

apologies lindsay, i should have said it's a very reasonable piece (actually a damn good one), written in response to something you wrote. it stands alone as a good piece of writing regardless of anything you've had to say.

given what i've read of your views on this issue, in comments here & on other blogs and the couple of posts on your blog i mistakenly read a couple of years ago, i can't imagine you said anything too different from what you normally said. but go on, surprise me. tell me that you've discovered some empathy for women who leave abusive unhappy relationships, or whose husbands leave them for someone else, or who had a contraceptive failure, or who were never given enough accurate sex education to keep themselves from getting pregnant, or who were raped. tell me you think these women and their children, and male sole-parents who may be in that situation for any number of reasons, deserve our collective support so that they can get back on their feet and so their children can also have the opportunity to succeed. tell me that you mentioned that most sole-parents are on the DPB for 4 years or less, and that an economic recession & high unemployment make it harder to find part-time work that is compatible with parenting duties. tell me you supported child-care subsideies and training allowances that would make it possible for these parents to improve their situation and get off the benefit. tell that you think parenting is so valuable that we should support parents to be able to do it when circumstances are difficult for them, and that you think financial investment in parenting and families (regardless of structure) will pay back to the society that so invests, many times over - at the very least because good parenting should produce a generation of taxpayers rather than a generation of "bludgers".

go on, lindsay, surprise me.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-to-stargazer-at-hand-mirror.html

Anonymous said...

As a moderately successful person it would be mad not to get a trust.

S.

Niobe said...

"As a moderately successful person it would be mad not to get a trust."

As a woman why would give away my possibility of security to work 16 hours per day 7 days a week for you for years and years for nothing. You have got to be dreaming. Women will leave their lying husbands when they find out about this.

Whats really disgusting is the fact that many women dont know the implications and if they did know, their relationships would probably end.

Its criminal deception toward the one you supposedly love. Or do you just marry to get a cheep breeder and servant. The real word should be slave.

Hugh said...

Niobe, you do know that the law allows women to establish trusts as easily as it allows men to do so, right?

Anonymous said...

and it's just as easy for couples to set up trusts.

Excellent if one partner dies and the other hooks up for two years they don't necessarily lose half the house and business in the later years of life.

P.S. I am a grrl

S

Niobe said...

Yes Hugh I know that but when you are doing 40 + hours housework per week + working + looking after children their is no way you can start a business or push your career. There is also the government mandatory 24 hour childcare for kids under 14 years old. Most men have their wives take care of this.

Over the course of womens working lives they earn half of what men do becuase of all the free work they perform in the home looking after children, parents husbands etc.

The free work that enables men to pursue their finacial interests freely without having to pay for childcare meal preparation laundering etec etc leaves women poor.

And Hugh women could refuse to do all of this and concentrate on their careers but don't choose to because
they think they are in a partnership. They think they are protected by matrimonial property laws so they work their buts off in the home as their part of the deal they imagine they have.

The problem is they don't even know they are being ripped off and that their husband has behind their back changed the rules. So in 20 years when you are worn out and hubby starts cheating with a woman 20 hyears your junior you can either like it or leave with nothing. What a shock a lot of women will get to find their partner tricked them into destitution in their old age.

What absolute pig would do that to a woman he loved. Of course you would never deceive someone you actually loved in that manner.

Niobe said...

P.S. I am a grrl

S


Yes and Lindsay Michell says she is a grrl also.

When you look at history you will see that belonging to the same gender does not guarantee you all think in monotones.

Men kill fight and rip each other off daily and have done so for centuries. So doesnt surprise me that women do the same to each other.
There are plenty of male and female scumbags and I do mean that.

Hugh said...

Niobe, I was going to respond, but this is becoming a derail, so maybe I'll just leave sleeping dogs to lie.

Niobe said...

You've lost an indefencable position Hugh so why not admit it. You cannot justify fraud. Thats what is the problem. Sure women can have trusts but we have deliberate fraud by some womens husbands. If it was all above board and women know the implications for them of putting properties in trusts and accepted those implications then thats up to them however the deliberate trickery or more legally termed Fraud is what appauls me.