David Miliband has joined forces with his party leader brother Ed behind Labour plans to deliver a “living wage” of well over £7.20 an hour – rising to more than £8.30 in London – for millions of workers in both the public and the private sectors.
The Miliband brothers, whose relationship has been tense since Ed narrowly defeated David in the 2010 leadership contest, are working closely together on how to make the living wage – as opposed to the lower minimum wage – the new norm and a core economic policy for Labour at the next election.
Miliband the elder, who is still outside the Shadow Cabinet, seems to be returning to the fold. This sort of “re-unification” of the British Labour Party can only be seen as a good thing, and puts the party in a stronger more united position to take the fight to the coalition.
Here in New Zealand, Labour Leader David Shearer pledged his support for the idea six months ago. With wages static and costs rising, it is easy to see the Living Wage being a big part of the conversation come 2014.
Great article over at Boing Boing. Income inequality can be seen from space…
How? It’s surprisingly simple. Turns out, demand for trees in neighborhoods behaves a lot like a luxury item, as opposed to a basic necessity.
Tim De Chant at The Per Square Mile blog wrote about research on this a couple of weeks ago. Then, he went out and found examples, using images from Google Earth.
Research published a few years ago shows a tight relationship between per capita income and forest cover.
…They found that for every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent. That’s a pretty tight correlation. The researchers reason that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on private and public property. The well-to-do can afford larger lots, which in turn can support more trees. On the public side, cities with larger tax bases can afford to plant and maintain more trees.
This is a guest post submitted by Bruce Tulloch. It also happens to be his submission to the MMP Review.
I believe that the one MP threshold which allows a “Tail” of extra MPS in despite less than 5% overall support should be withdrawn.
The Winston Peters phenomenon shows the impact of personality over policy. Charisma plus publicity (very largely free in Winston’s case) can have a huge effect on the electoral outcome.
ACT, with neither personalities nor policies with more than marginal appeal, did very poorly in this election. Despite getting donations ten times those of the Greens they got less than 1/10 of the Green vote, however with this sort of money a party with a more telegenic candidate plus saturation advertising and manipulated coverage could well swing one electoral seat and an increased party vote.
84.3% of ACT’s donations were were of $5,001 or more, only 5.4% were under $1,500. ACT received a very significantly higher proportion of large donations than National, Labour or the Greens.
The Conservative Party apparently did not release its donation figures to the Electoral Commission by the deadline but its election costs were the second highest at $1,878,000, some 80% of National’s total. It appears the bulk of the funding came from the party’s leader. They achieved 2.65% of the party votes.
The dominance of support for ACT and the Conservatives by a relatively small number of big donors and the lack of widespread voter support would indicate that their best tactic is concentration of force, to focus on a single electorate (as in Epsom) and thereby drag in extra MPs, despite less than 5% support.
This distorts proportionality and is also wide open to collusion with other parties hoping for inflated support from ideological allies or manipulable opportunists.
Therefore the one-electorate threshold should be dropped.
More bad news on the economic front.
The economy grew a weaker than expected 0.3 per cent in the December quarter, with a boost from the Rugby World Cup and a good season for farmers offset by a fall in manufacturing.
Economists had expected economic growth of about 0.6 per cent in the December quarter.
GDP was up a modest 1.4 per cent for the year ended December 2011, lower than the 1.6 per cent forecast by economists.
I’m not an optimist – but even I’m surprised how bad this is. Despite the RWC we are still stuck in a rut. Not good at all.
How’s that cycle way looking?
Unsurprisingly, most New Zealanders still don’t want to sell our farms off overseas…
A survey by pollsters UMR shows 70 per cent of Kiwis opposed the sale of the nearly 8000 hectare farming estate to overseas investors – regardless of nationality.
Good to hear that it’s not anti-Chinese sentiment.
…almost 90 per cent of those polled were aware of the Crafar farms sale and 70 per cent did not want a sale to foreigners.
That’s pretty conclusive!
Both from today’s New Zealand Herald. Compare and contrast.
Everyone should read this piece by Mehdi Hasan in the Guardian. Gripping stuff…
…Europe’s crisis isn’t just about economics. Unlike GDP or inflation, unemployment is the only major economic indicator that measures real human beings, rather than growth or prices.
Having a job isn’t just about earning a living or paying taxes; it’s about human dignity and self-worth. The human and social costs of unemployment are well-documented: financial hardship, emotional stress, depression, lethargy, loss of morale and status, shame, sickness and premature death. Then there is the hopelessness that often leads to rising crime, disorder and social unrest. We can probably expect a new wave of riots and violence in the continent’s city centres.
“The issue always for a company is, is it maximizing it’s return and unless those assets are under performing I can’t see why they’d sell them”
So does he think the nation’s power companies are “under-performing” for the Government?
When I saw the headline ‘Collaboration helping recruit health ICT workers‘ I was cautiously optimistic – did the Government actually have a plan to create some jobs?!
But alas, nope. Steven Joyce hasn’t come up with a great scheme to get Kiwi IT grads into jobs, he’s instead trying to get more skilled workers from overseas to fill bums on seats.
A new project designed to attract highly skilled workers to New Zealand is a great example of collaboration between the Government and the private sector, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.
Speaking at the Medical Technology conference in Auckland today, Mr Joyce said 12 New Zealand health technology companies – including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Orion Health – have been working with government agencies such as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Immigration New Zealand to recruit hundreds of skilled employees for roles in the New Zealand health technology sector.
My first “proper job” after graduating was with a large fortune-500 company from Texas, with a sizeable presence in New Zealand.
In our induction into the company they told us how proud they were to be part of a scheme setup by Jim Anderton as Minister of Economic Development which used government incentives to bring work from overseas to New Zealand, and got Kiwis to do it with decent pay and conditions. This Beehive press release from the time goes into a little bit more detail.
The Labour government invested money in bringing work to New Zealand which led to us having the lowest unemployment rates in the world. The National government is now investing money to bring more skilled workers from overseas.
Two different approaches. I know which I prefer.