Stupid Policies, Sad Stories

The Labour party have a not so proud history of creating policies (with the best of intentions), that have unintended negative consequences. They also have a not so proud history of ploughing ahead with these kinds of policies despite wiser heads than theirs warning them what the consequences will be.

A family member of mine was seriously affected by one of these “feel good” policies under the Helen Clark government. My family and many others all over the country told the government that paying all disabled people the minimum wage regardless of their need for support staff, would cost intellectually disabled and some physically disabled workers their jobs.

Helen Clark wouldn’t listen because on paper forcing employers who hired the disabled to pay them the same as able bodied workers looked fair and right. It completely ignored the fact that working was more about self esteem and feeling part of the community for many of these workers. They did not need the extra money as they were already getting a benefit from the government. Their pay was pocket money.

The result of the policy was that the IHC lawn mowing businesses and Garden centre businesses had to shut down. Intellectually handicapped people all over New Zealand lost their jobs. My family member’s papermaking and woodworking workshops had to close. All these adults no longer have a job to go to each day. It was a national tragedy and I will never forgive Helen Clark for doing that to my loved one.

Now Jacinda Ardern has followed in Helen Clark’s footsteps but it is tenants, not the disabled that her ‘looks good on paper’ anti-landlord policies have harmed.

Sad stories of tenants losing their rented accommodation have become a regular thing in the media and the trickle is going to become a flood. The media is trying to spin the landlords as the bad guys but anyone with half a brain can see that the CoL has put the landlords between a rock and a hard place. Not only is there now a shortage of rentals due to the anti-landlord policies, but the government has also pitted tenants against their landlords by waving a very lucrative carrot in front of them. $4000 for dobbing in their landlord if the home isn’t insulated before the deadline.

Landlords who are faced with the great expense of insulating a property also now have to worry about their tenants dobbing them in for the cash prize if they fail to meet the deadline. Due to the demand created by the policy for insulation work along with the cost, many landlords have found themselves unable to get the work done before the deadline.

They are now between a rock and a hard place. They either explain to the tenant that they can’t meet the deadline but have booked the work to be done at such and such date, risking that the tenant will dob them in for the money or they give notice to the tenant so that they will not be at risk of breaking the law by having a tenant in an uninsulated house.

What would you do? If they put the tenants’ needs first they risk getting hit with a $4000 fine. Imagine what that would do for landlord-tenant relations? Nope, it is much safer to get rid of the tenant and then either sell the house or get the renovation/ insulation work done while the house is empty.

The government caused this mess and every time you read yet another sad story in the media, the finger of blame should be pointing straight at Jacinda Ardern. Every tenant who gets booted out has Ardern to thank for the situation they now find themselves in. The consequences were entirely predictable and Ardern’s government like Helen Clark’s, only cared about the optics rather than the harsh reality.