Opinion: Bernard Hickey likes the idea of 'payment cards' for teen beneficiaries so much he wants it extended to pensioners

Opinion: Bernard Hickey likes the idea of 'payment cards' for teen beneficiaries so much he wants it extended to pensioners
Should pensioners be stopped from spending their pensions on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling?

By Bernard Hickey

Does John Key really want to go down this path?

His announcement over the weekend of plans to use payment cards to stop teen beneficiaries spending their benefits on drugs, alcohol and gambling seems like a good idea if you want to stop taxpayers' money being spent on 'bads'.

But it's only fair and sensible if it is extended to all beneficiaries, including those receiving Working For Families, Interest Free Student Loans and pensions.

Would John Key have been quite so confident standing up in front of all the grey hairs at the weekend National Party conference and announcing this policy?

If it is not extended to all beneficiaries then it smacks of an attempt by the haves to stop the have nots from having what the haves already have.

John Armstrong writes this morning at the NZ Herald how the announcement of this policy was the one thing that got the National Party conference excited.

It was greeted with "loud cheers, piercing whistles, stamping feet and wild applause."

Would they have been so keen if Key had announced they wouldn't be allowed to spend their pensions at the local pokies or on their favourite dram of whiskey or on a holiday to see the grandkids in Australia?

That is the irony here. Key was preaching to an audience of beneficiaries. Mostly quite rich beneficiaries. They certainly outnumbered the out of work teenagers in the audience.

Pensioners are New Zealand's biggest beneficiaries. There are over 580,000 people aged over 65 who received over NZ$8.8 billion worth benefits in the financial year just completed. See more here at Jonathan Barron's detailing of the Social Welfare budget here.

Just imagine how much of that is spent on 'bads'?

Yet John Key is going to spend millions designing a bureaucracy and a payment card system targeting the 'bad' spending of around 1,600 16-17 year olds. See more in Alex Tarrant's article, including Key's speech.

It only makes sense if it is extended more widely.

In fact, it's only fair and sustainable if it is extended more widely.

The young in New Zealand aren't stupid.

They can see what the old have done in the last decade or two. They have consumed the future and loaded many kinds of debt on those who will ultimately have to pay the bill.

Firstly, let's look at those pensioners who cheered and clapped John Key's comments on the weekend.

Most will be property owners sitting on large (tax free) capital gains and are expecting to be paid pensions and receive 'free' health care from the taxes that will be paid by tommorrow's taxpayers.

Even more painful for the youth of today, they won't be able to afford to buy a family home because the previous generation loaded up these houses with so much debt.

The young can choose to take on those punishing debts and remain wage slaves for the rest of their lives. But they'll do so knowing they'll have to pay more taxes in future to pay for the pensions and healthcare of those stopping them from buying cigarettes and alcohol now.

Is John Key trying to alienate our youth?

He could show he is being fair by applying the same rules to the old and the young.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Bad Idea . The Benefit and the NZ Super are not the same thing . Let the old codgers buy whatever they want . They have mostly worked all their lives and paid their  taxes. If you dont like the current system , move to the Aussie system of complusory superannuation 

The benefit and Super are the same thing with the exception that Super isn't means tested and it is dished out to all reguardless of need.

It's all well and and good to say move to Aussie, and if you look at the numbers moving 34,000 you can see that this is where our young and educated do go.

NZ is at risk of being a retirement village with nobody paying the high fees.



Yes pensioners have paid their taxes. But those taxes were spent as they paid them.

The pensions and health care costs of tomorrow will be paid for out of the incomes of tomorrow's workers, who are today's teenagers.

It doesn't seem fair that a benefit for a pensioner can be spent on gambling while a benefit for a teenager (who can't even vote yet) is restricted.



It is not simply a case of 'it doesn't seem fair'.

It simply isn't fair. End of story.

You are correct Bernard. in fact up until Richardsons balanced budgets(90,s?) we ran Govt deficits for most of the current pensioners working lives ..so in a way they didnt pay enough taxes.they left some for the future generations (X Y) to pay for them.

" Kicking the can down the road " ... my point below , which rarked up the Trolley-Dolly .

.. no generation of Kiwis have taken the hard decisions to benefit the country long term .

And the politicians have happily played along with this , with a series of massive vote buying bribes .

... do we wait until we get a crisis of Grecian proportions , or we have bred a generation of tatooed young thugs as England has , or do we take steps to re-balance the Kiwi economy now .

Bernard....have you bothered to cost the admin needed to implement your idea....? Targeting teens alone will cost heaps. Try identifying the savings from a 10% reduction in 18 yr olds joining winz on a semi permanent basis...instead of demanding pensioners go without their dram of plonk or flutter on Lotto...put some time into sussing out the probable savings and what that would mean for taxpayers and therefore for disposable incomes and then have a go at measuring the potential for personal development of the teens in question...and determining the advantages of that....

How many teenage mothers join the list each month Bernard....what are the prospects for many of the children...what is to be gained from discouraging those Kiwi from becoming parents before they are able to vote....???


And the taxes that the present superanuants paid when they were working, paid the superanuation of those people retired at the time.  It is a pay as you go system.  Muldon stuffed up an made sure of that. 

It is fundamentally different.  Stirer!

The books would be more sensibly balanced by taxing capital profits, closing the loop holes and gowing the economy by directing capital and focus to productive, especially exporting industries.  This reduces the need for the dole and raises everybodies standard of living.

I disagree it's simply stirring.

The system is fundamentally flawed.

As a result a debate should be had before the point of bankrupcy arrives.

If I showed this comment, Bernard,  (and your initial commentary above) to the staff at WINZ who have firsthand knowledge of working with beneficiaries, you'd be laughed out of every WINZ office in the country.

You know nothing about teenage beneficiaries.

Wow .... Bernard , you really stirred up a hornets nest with this one ! Nearly 200 comments .

Good on you  for stimulating such strong debate about current issues.


Bernard - bloody hell - let old people just retire the way they want to retire is hard enough, even without stupid pokie machines etc.:


Gummy and David:


  The old dear at the pokies paying all the money back into the Gov coffers, after the casino taxes are paid...and having a smoke along the way dont forget sh'es paying mega taxes on that packet of ciggies.Well! she aint hoarding her money.Pheraps she should be given an Order of merit?

Hey that's his aunty Dot  there aNonny...give her an order of fries and leave it at that.

.. she got her teeth in the hand-bag this time ... or has she stuck them into the oven with the tray of cookies she cut out with 'em ... again ?

The Nats have spent so much time in the looming shadow of Helen Clark , that some of her " I know best ".. , " I know how you ought to live your lives " , mentality has rubbed off on them .

... either you dole out the benefits / entitlements / programmes , or you don't . Period .

Question why so many teenagers are getting free money . Why so many 15-17 y.o. girls are getting pregnant , and footing the tax-payer with the bill , for the next 2 decades or more .

Why do WINZ give up on so many youngsters and place them on " invalid pensions " , to get them off WINZ's books . And who are the doctors who sign them off , on this rip-off of tax-payers' money .

.. when are National going to attack the creation of a massive feral class , produced under social-welfarism , and aided by the evil empire , the NZ Labour Party .

Wow. Do you have issues!

Meaning what ?

Do you really  believe that tripe you posted?

I don't believe any of the tripe I write .... I'm not that stooopid .

Appearances deceive, then......

Luckily ! .. would never have got a job otherwise .

Oh, well then. I suppose we'd better remove all of the welfare payments then. I'm sure that will result in better behaviour. 

 " I know how you ought to live your lives " Aunty Helen.... GBH, were that so we'd all be living our lives in secret gay abandon.....self serving and childless.

If they'd won the 2011 election , Labour were gonna bring in " Gay Conscription "  .

.. Everyone turning 18 would be forced into a 2 year relationship with someone of the same sex , to  teach them tolerance of alternative sexualities , and to demonstrate that there is a better way than traditional heterosexuality .

.... Whew !!! ..... dodged a bullet there , didn't we !

Oh you are awful Gummy....

Exempted  if one went to a single sex school?

We were all exempt at Septimus Hermaphrodite........

I recall once ....one of the Brothers (St.  Mary's) addressing me behind the bike sheds

"you there boy..!"..."were you just interfering with yourself...?"

I said "No Brother Mooney"..... but was left wondering just how that would be possible...!


I got six of the ":best" on suspicion alone.

Was that enough to swing your vote to Labour ?

I don't swing , sweetie !

You forgot to mention the lesbian recruiting booths, Gummy.

Of course the smart money would be on those blokes who gained 30 lbs, gave themselves a #1 buzz cut, dressed up in denim and leathers, grab a boxer dog, and fronted up to the lesbian recruiting booth calling themselves Billy and listening to k.d. Lang.

Actually no , DB , I was inclusive in my comments , the twisted sisters & the rainbow boys of Labour were all included .

...But hey , this is all for your own good . Dontcha understand NZ Labour yet ?

They despise the way we think and how we live our sordid little heterosexual lives . They know how we ought to live & think , and will impose their beliefs upon us , for our good , whether we want it or not .

... A slice of folate bread for you sir ? .... butter side up or down , hmmmmm !


One solution to this problem of welfarism is to make the government benefit truly universal and have no means testing.

Gareth Morgan has put forward his idea of a Universal Basic Income paid out of the proceeds of a single tax on all income, including from capital.

More detail here.





Forgive my ignorance ( everyone else here does ) ,but  has something along the lines of Gareth Morgan's universal entilement ( the big kahuna plan ) actually been attempted anywhere ?

No wonder the economy is in the crap.......no one is prepared to try something new!

Betcha you're the first to squeal if we tried Big Kahunas and it blew up , leaving egg ( or an egg like substance ) all over our faces . .

.. . Big Balls are one thing , but cleaning up the mess they leave behind is another .

Couldn't do much worse than international capitalism, could we?

We won't know , international capitalism has never been attempted either . But we've had ample evidence that social-welfarism & crony-capitalism is a toxic combination .

Same thing.

Is not !

Alaska gives checks of 5,000 or so.( from oil sales)

Saudi Arabia?

Possibly Norway.

A plan worth detailed thought.

You can spend all of your time blaming /anal ising those who came before you in a futile fingerpointing way ...or you can do something productive and give a little of your "wealth of knowledge" to those who are coming behind you....


Mr Hickey does the High School Tour ................got a nice ring to it eh..?

Your time and input will have a more profound effect than slagging off "boomers " at every opportunity to relieve whatever shortcomings you have found yourself afflicted by.

Don't forget your turns coming.... ...just hope your reviews are kinder by future analysts given the environment you have had to endure.


Many thanks. I'm doing my bit to be a bit productive.

Interest.co.nz now has 11 staff and is growing profitably. ;)

We do quite a bit to foster debate and provide as much useful information as possible.

I do quite a few speeches and things to various people.




Good for you Bernard....some unpaid work in unlikely places I hope from time to time...?

As it will produce a will to think........self determination  is something  that will take root if enough of us are willing to sow the seeds. 

Maybe Bernard you are confusing productivitty with hot air. 

What have you changed, what difference have you made to the future of this country?

Is this site nothing more than talk back radio on the web, a place for the disenchanted to vent their spleens? 

Do you think it has any political clout at all? 

Confused and Disenchanted , are we ? ... vent your spleen , go ahead ... oh , you just did !

Ooh you are a devil Bernard. Your logic is quite right although many super annuitants would not agree with you saying that they are beneficiaries. They would say they have paid a tax that included a promise of superannuation. It is an entitlement. The beneficiaries could say the same. They are just as much New Zealand citizens as the super annuitants. From the time new Zealand was settled we have practiced a form of socialism and which, until the neo liberalism of the 1980s, did us proud.

One thing though John boy's idea would increase the number of people who had a jobs. Does it matter that they would be defacto civil servants? A job is a job and brings in taxes.

Civil servants or not, yes it does matter....Wealth of a country is created by exporters bringing in $.  More and more civil servants on less and less private industry is a burden that could damage the economy and will cause taxes to rise.   So sure some things a Govn would seem to do better than private sector, education and health seem to clear winners...the problem is injecting "something" into these to keep them efficient and focused, the SOE model seems to work for energy, doesnt mean its transferable mind.  In the 1980s our form of socialism had just about sent us bankrupt, public services like the Postoffice were awful. Since then competiton has had a positive effect, problem is ensuring there is continued competition.

Superannuants may well have been promised a pension, paid for by others, so who would say no?  clearly not many. That expectantion was a lie, and over the next decade or so we will see that unravel as the global economy winds down. 

Entitlement, when it comes down to it that's frankly rubbish, no one owes you anything you have a duty to look after yourself.  Ppl paying today for the retirees today didnt agree to this, its what they have been left with.  I dont think thats fair, what should happen is some % of your income should be put aside maybe via a Govn scheme  to pay for your own retirement, stealing off future generations who may not be able to and didnt agree to pay is immoral....and they would be "entitled" to say no, and probably will in the future.



And I bet todays retirees didnt willingly agree to fund the benefits of others out of their taxes when they were in the workforce . It cuts both ways Steven.

Minor point, but wealth is not created by the act of export.

Production of wealth exists before you choose to export it - or use it yourself.

good article!

BTW, when they spend on cigarettes and alcohol doesnt that money go straight back to Treasury? Seems good to me, maybe I am missing something.

And going to Australia seems bad for NZ.


The money goes to overseas-owned conglomerates. They also benefit from tax breaks for the rich, courtesy of good friends such as GWB, John Key, Bill English, et al.

The cost of alcoholic drinks and nicotine-based products, and other recreational drugs is borne by the non-wealthy tax payer, even the ones who don't imbibe or smoke.

The foreign owners of the companies who produce these things just keep getting richer and richer.

Exactly right.

Is the intention to stop over-65s from spending their own money - ie, their savings, investment income, or money that they earn from ongoing employment - how they wish, or is it only the way they spend the money that they get from NZS that is to be controlled?

I read it to mean only moneies received as a benefit / entitlement from the government.

The Great Depression and WW2 era voters, a large percentage of whom traditionally voted for "socialistic" policies, are gone. In their place are their aging offspring, the Baby Boomers who wanted and got everything, and are too used to wanting and getting everything to give that up.

But how they whine about the "sense of entitlement" belonging to their own offsprings' generations. It's all "Nike" this, and "iPad" that, we're told, and "kids today think everything grows on trees, and wouldn't know a good day's work if it bit them on the arse!", etc.

So the Baby Boomers demand that these youngies pay more tax, and cut their costs and "do without", all to keep the Baby Boomer generation living the life to which they are accustomed. And entitled.

The baby boomers spent much of their money on pandering to the X and Y generations, not themselves.  (It's no wonder they are the me generation, they got everything they wanted).  They saved large deposits to buy their first homes, worked 2 jobs, did overtime, and saved to buy their furniture and did without all the luxuries, eating out, flash cars etc.  Now they are in a good position and are able to spend money on themselves and why shouldn't they?  If the X and Ys and beyond want the same as their parents have now, save  some money for a deposit, buy a cheap unit on the wrong side of town, don't spend any money on luxuries, pay down debt, then upgrade like they did.  Oh, and you'll need to start saving when you are 21, not go on an OE. Don't buy consumer goods until you are 40 and into your third house...  (And no, i'm not a boomer, just a smart genX (with not so well off parents) who studied and worked fulltime so didn't need a loan, bought a house at 20, had flatmates live with me to pay some of the mortgage. It wasn't always fun or easy but it worked.

Join the list LAJ

David Whitburn, Snarlypuss, and Smarts. Check out David Whitburn's profile. He is quoted here and interviewed here by BH often enough. He's about 35, and worth $1 million plus.

Don't be too quick to defend the boomers LAJ, they are on the back end of a boom our generation will being paying off for a long time. I too am GenX and in a similar position to you, married with 3 kids, both working professionals with a household income north of $150k and in our early 30's. We own most of our 5 year old 4 bedroom house, I too have never had an OE and have poor parents, I don't sip latte's and neither does my wife, been in the workforce since I was 18.

We recently looked at upgrading our home, a nice property around the corner fitted the bill, asking around $580k (we live in provincial NZ), I did a property search and found the boomers living there had paid $180k 11 years ago. We walked away on principle.

The question. Having purchased the property could I expect it to triple in value over the next 11 years, as these boomers had? No. Would it have even increased in value by $300k? No. It would probably stay stagnated at whatever we purchased it for. What a payday, that I personally don't ever expect will happen to our generation. We have had personally minimal capital gains on our properties and have only grown equity through sheer horse power and frugality, the boomers could walk away with $400k over 10 years and have never paid a dollar of capital off the loan.

My point, so yes while GenX isn't perfect, we face a barrage of challenges fiscally (public and private) that surely match or are (financially) tougher than conditions they had when they were younger and starting out.

What a crock of the proverbial. 'Im a baby boomer and have worked bloody hard all my life.  I did not spend up large as you believe but raised two great kids on one income and also saved for my retirement.  I did not speculate on the property market and have no debt. I am sure this would not be unusual in my generation.

It would be interesting to know which generation (private and public) has amassed the most debt over the last decade, in my family it is the 30 year olds who have been the property speculators.  They are the ones that have acquired all the latest gadgets.

 I believe you have pointed an accusing finger at the wrong generation.

Hey, what is going on here.  Us oldies have worked hard, saved and payed our mortgages on time.  I,  in my whole working life have never had so much as one day on a benifit,  but during myr working life I paid the benifit for those not working and the pensions of those that went before.

We used to have Christmas day off and the have to work Boxing day, have New Years eve off but have to work New Years Day. We only had two weeks holiday a year and went to work sick because no work meant no pay.

We grew up with ration books, second hand or hand me down clothes which led us all to be careful with our money.  When we got married we made do with second hand everything and the nearest phone was at the Post Office.

If your generation were like us you would be better off.  Leave us alone to enjoy a rest after a lifetime of hard work.

Cue "The Four Yorkshiremen".

Luxury..! when we were lad it were..........

If you'd read enough of his articles on the subject keriwin..you'd know he wants you euthanized ideally.......but making you miserable and guilty will do for now.

Every generation since the original 1938 Social Security Act has (in general) has failed to save for their retirement.


Therefore the government pension is funded the same as social welfare, straight out of taxes.

As an idea, this only works if the population keeps up with a steady input of tax payers to pay.  For the system to fail it simply needs a drop in the number of working folk or an increase in people taking a pension.  Even an increase in other government costs, like health care, can sink the whole ship.


What is happening is the current system is slowly going bankrupt.

Bad taste....putting your aunty Dot up as the smoking pokey pusher.... really!

Hickisms that's all we get these days!

Most old farts barely survive from pension to pension payment once the power phone rates food dentist doctor firewood etc are paid...and ole Hick wants to kick em in the goolies....

Your bloody turn soon Bernard....

One rule for all Wol. If it gets applied to young beneficiaries, it should be applied to old beneficiaries. Don't be a hypocrite.

Then maybe  Bernard could expand the self help programme to rest homes and pensioner villages....or maybe he could short cut the whole thing and lecture them at the casino's.... as to the young he could take a megaphone to a riot.

Yes VL : I think that was the gist of Bernard's article . .... perhaps his cynicism went over the heads of one or two .

He was saying that if it's good enough to dictate or to direct young welfare recipients how they spend the tax-payers' money they receive , then why not turn that meddling nanny-state blow-torch onto other welfare recipients , such as the elderly .

nope I got that GBH.....I was just leveling up the "playing" field.......I mean..it's gonna come and bite them in the ass isn't it.......more short sighted bureaucratic petty policy because there are no genuine ideas  in job / job training creation.

They think this is the type of populist policy that's going to appeal to Winnies mob....

 That said  I'll post you a luverly story for some Monday cheer.

Yes Count , I have noticed that Bernie's pieces have had a Winsome Peters refrain about them . The " hoarding " article got my nipples in a twist , yesterday .

... it's bloody annoying , when Hickey starts posting  bigger bollocking  rubbish than wot I usually write .

The challenge is on !

[ .. some Monday cheer would sweep away the cobwebs of the Sunday beer ... Tah ! ...]

The difference is that we earnt our pension on 50 years of working.

No, you didn't.  Sorry, but you really didn't.  What you earned by working was the wages that you were paid for your work. 

You might argue that you earned your pension by paying taxes.  That may or may not be true for you personally, depending on precisely how much tax you paid. 

However, it is not true for pensioners in total.   As a generation they did not pay as much tax towards pension costs as they are now receiving in pension benefits.   And that's going to get worse and worse as more and more people reach the NZS age.

Can I have one of these new fangled 'Support Providers' please. WIll they keep my legs warm? 

... if you get a Filippino one , she will . ...

It is applied to the really old VL...go ask the 'rest home' inhabitants!....as for 16 year olds being handed a wad of dosh and left to go their merry way..you gotta be off your nut to think that's not going to end up pear shaped.

The policy change is about pushing these beneficiaries into a learning environment and the only problem I see is in who gets to be the provider.....should be some fun there as various iwi and hapu  claim they have a right to do it...and demand payment from govt for doing it....and on and bloody on it goes.

Yeah i'm kind of winding you up Wol..you old beneficiary ..    


This is a diversion really.....we have pollies who are in the habit of making policies that are set to garner votes, rather than benefit the country....and also pollies who have spent 30 years exporting jobs and now wonder why the welfare state is out of control and a generation of lazy yoof who expect to go on the dole because they know there are bugger all jobs out there so they give up before they start cos thats what their parents did....

I agree that laws should be applied equally or be void for violating the basic rule of law.

However, the payment card idea is ridiculous full stop. It’s even more bureaucracy (tracking the cards) and infrastructure (payment systems) for little, if any, incentive adjustment. Just how much of a problem is this really?  Is it a real issue of a perceived issue? It’s too easy to point the finger blame the poor for everything. The US uses these cards and criminals are still utilizing the cards for Money laundering, drugs, etc. It hasn’t stopped illicit behavior. You can see people standing outside stores with these cards offering to buy $200 in groceries for $10-50 cash.   

Just how much of a problem is this really?

In terms of social welfare spending the individual youth benefit is $15.3 million while superannuation is $9,575.4 million - we are talking sixteen one hundreds of one percent of superannuation costs.

There is a major problem, but it is with superannuation benefits - something neither National nor Labour will address.

Key's teen benefit exercise is one of creating scapegoats to obscure his and his government's own failures. Expect more of the same.

Looks like National is taking a page out of the US Republican playbook: If you can’t find a legit problem, then make one up!

Its the first step in increasing the accountability of those who accept funding from other taxpayers.

Pensioners have generally contributed to the tax base....a 16 year old who leaves school and makes a choice to have a kid or go straight on a benefit generally hasnt.

You intend to increase accountability on the unaccountable.

If you are of working age and accept funding from the Govt (ie the taxpayer) it is not unreasonable for the Govt (on behalf of the taxpayer) to have some input into how that money is spent.

It’s a freckles excise in futility.

What do you suggest then ?

Ignore it, do not engage in the debate, and simply move on with our lives. There are much larger rocks in the water. I treat politicians like my dog when he does something wrong I ignore them.  When he does something right I praise him immensely, and when he does something very bad, and he knows it, I have strong words with him three times and put him in time out between each scolding. If we ignore Keys he will soon get the message that it’s not a good topic and look elsewhere.

I agree and consistency of approach means that we should also control how everyone who had their snouts in the trough with the Sth Canterbury payout, and the board of Radio Works and the farmers and big industry on taxpayer subsidies in the ETS scheme and so on should all be prohibited from wasting our taxpayer money on alcohol, smokes , watching rugby and other evils and should be given cards to buy their food.  Choice.



Luvery  Monday Cheer...!


Mujibar was trying to get into New Zealand legally through Immigration.  The Immigration Officer said, 'Mujibar, you have passed all the tests except one. Unless you pass it you cannot enter New Zeal;and .'


Mujibar said, 'I am ready.'  The officer said, 'Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green.'


Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said, 'Mister Officer, I am ready.'  The Officer said, 'Good, go ahead.'




Mujibar said, 'The telephone goes; 'green, green, green, green………..green, green, and I pink it up, and say, 'Yellow, this is Mujibar.''


Mujibar now works at Telecom. You've probably spoken to him. 

I feel butter alreddy ! ... Fanks .


Maybe the difference is that pensioners don't have babies?

If pensioners choose to spend their hard earned pension monies on drugs, alcohol and gambling who cares.

When benificiaries with young children choose to spend their hard earned benefits on drugs, alcohol and gambling it's their kids that suffer.

Bob..I'm sure you said that with the best of intentions....but it won't bear scrutiny....in most cases the kids will have been long suffering if that is the case.

This is the nonsense about taring "all young people" recieving benifit by the politically clueless....and indeed taring all "old people" people with that same brush   through the inexperience of  longevity. 

Crikey Bernard you are going to give hypocritical blood-sucking benefit leeches like GBH and Wolly a heart attack at this rate! All this time they've been slamming " bludgers " and telling us we have to cut them off from the welfare teat, then you come along and suggest we do the same to the geriatric leech class and poor old GBH and Wolly see their own gravy train disappearing before their very eyes!

It's uncalled for and a bit much on old codgers who are dependent upon those they bash for their very livelihood!! Especially when the usual capital gains they expected would help power their life of luxurious sloth are already looking so dodgy! Houses aren't worth crud nowadays and the blimmin socialists may get back in and slap a ruddy great tax on Wolly's and GBH's ill gotten gains! LOL!!!!!

Sadly , the Gummster was never smart enough to leech the system . Like a fool , I went off and got a job , was industrious & paid me taxes ... never got a penny of those taxes back , directly . And never expect to now , being self-funded in an early " retirement " .

... why didn't the high school careers advisor point me the way towards WINZ , instead of the path into private enterprise ... Woe !.. Alas !... Alack !

Because it's not in the High school curriculum GBH...it's passed from generation to generation  as revised folklore.......this ish whut you do to get the freemunny's.

Luck of the ovaries , I guess ... Mummy Gummy chose a hard-working thrifty farmer to bonk . My bad ! .... had she run off the rails with the bad boyz , drink & drugs .. I could be a welfare recipient now .

.. life just aint fair , Count .

We that'll be the cause of those issues...whatsathingy was talking about above.....bad muv vering......you miss the free munny.

I blame Mummy Gummy for my lack of " free " money , honey !

Wolly is NOT..! dependant upon those he bashes LUCKY B.....their contributions simply guarantee him the lifestyle to which he become accustomed.......should  that in any way be interrupted he could easily return to vending the Gypsy moonshine for which he finds regular demand during the long cold winter of the south.

so it's more of a hobby than anything else........the bashing I mean.

It's a good hobby Christov...an honest hobby....and the pollies need the bashing..and all the banksters includin Bolly....even Parky gets his share, our dreamtimebanker.

As for the lifestyle...stone me I doubt many would want it...try using an outside dunny this time of the year...!


Wolly................good on ya mate..!

It's his site , Bernard can abuse anyone he wants to ... actually , I've never seen him do that , even though he takes some heavy-duty flak from a few hardened malcontents ...

... David Chaston  will sort him out , if Bernie gets on your nipples .. good man , David .

There's a hole in your basket....I don't receive a benefit..too young for the pension too...living off my wealth that came from hard work...saving...and investing...yes it's that antisocial behaviour us savers get up to unlucky basket but then what would you know.

I hope you are into some serious work and paying the taxes every which way you turn so when I do get the pension...it will still be there..hahaha

So Bernard now has eleven people sitting around talking about things...

Very productive, that.

Correction ! ... 10 people beavering away , being industrious , and investigative ...

.. and then there's one , flapping his gums on TV3 , RadioLive with Larcus Mush , RadioNational with Jim Mora ... just one not pulling his incredible weight .

... Have a guess who !

That said GBH...YL must have  done a fair bit of trawling to have seen Bernards little response to me......which indicates even when they are not responding ,the RE's are watching....waiting....praying....that one day....ooooh yeah....one ...day Bernards gonna git it.


The main article is utter nonsense.

Even if there is a problem, its nature, extent and implications to society are very different.

And, besides, what does this have to do with “helping you make financial decisions”?

The article is nothing more than political drivel coming from somebody with an unhealthy and unhelpful fixation on inter-generational enmity.  

Yep, cant wait until Hickeys an old codger and all those young people he has incited to throw the oldies to the wolves do just that to him...........

Or - heck, this guy could derail my idol's bid for reelection......lets put the boot in now.

Alex13...I love you and want to have your baby...!

And he uses such purty words , too : " inter-generational enmity " . ..

.. Grandad Gummy had an enmity kit , but it was never passed down to Mummy Gummy nor to me ... all slick & rubbery it were too ... yeeeeeeah !

I think you'e getting confused with his enema kit, Gummy!

Now I am comefuddled , I thought that steven was my enema .... I seem to have upset the fellow , earlier this evening ....

...... too fecking bad , huh !

But what is it with the snarly lefties , so freaking serious , they'd need a  crackerjack detective to help them  find their sense-of-humour ...

... ever seen Helen Clark smile ? ... jeepers creepers it was ghastly , like a piranha that'd just eaten a rat .

Bernard: You do go into a "priapic frenzy" over the words pensioner, pension, age, old, baby boomer.

You can't be a righty........they don't know what a priapus is.....

" priapus " is an Australian marsupial , with a duck-like bill . When they mate , they go into a priapic frenzy ...

.. which is wot Bernard looks like when anyone mentions the pensions .

Righties think it's something to do with soggy biscuits.

It's the tumidity and tumescence of it all

You have to remember this guy makes his money not in a productive way, but by stirring up debate. He doesn't really believe this drivel but he needs people on his site arguing with him to make him appear relevant, then in turn he can "earn" fees by going on TV and radio and spouting his opinion.  Sounds like a fun way to earn a bit of cash.  You and I are just helping him out.  Now if he was in the productive sector he could be off making widgets.

LAJ: "BH makes money by stirring up debate". Stirring prejudice with intellectual dishonesty is more like it.  

Yes, whatever gets him attention and another slot on the news at 6.00.....


and he has the cheek to say providing rental accommodation is non-productive.

Just like John Key?

Probably adds less value to the economy than most PIs. Ironic really.

Bernard argued, in another piece, that hoarding of wealth was bad. Beneficiaries hoard the least. Therefore they serve a useful function in keeping the wheels of the economy turning. Please excuse my dubious logic.

Behaviours are governed by rewards. If the economic system has been rewarding "bad" behaviour then the issue is political. Do not blame people for rational behaviour within a bad system. Change the system. For OAPs it is now too late for change. They are locked in. Bad behaviour in their case will soon get them off the pension books. Unlike the young beneficiaries, they will not produce a dysfunctional next generation. So there distinct differences.

There is a good argument for raising the age at which the pension is available. We should recognise that this idea has great merit. The improved health of the nation has created this problem. So there is a need to claw back some of the gains to keep the books in order. 

Cutting back on immigration into NZ would enable our young to afford housing again and might even help preserve the appropriate balance of ages and reduce the brain-drain. This too would help. Our addiction to housing as an investment, and need for higher interest rates would evaporate as quickly as you could say "capital gains tax". 

Why is the answer "None of the above" ever in BHs surveys- that is the box I most often want to tick in his engineered surveys!

I'd like Bernard to include a " Bernard is just being a prat , again " box , for me to tick in these surveys .

tra lalaaa la lullalaa...! it's all going swimingly now  BiG Guy..! some real input...or at least deserving of the piece.

Bernard has hit a nerve......to judge from the reaction here.

That's for sure!

Of course there's a difference, Bernard.

The geezer class is the one who keep a heap of social services above water:  the Volunteer class.  They have the time, the commitment to public service and generally giving back, the skills honed by a lifetime of keeping family fed, housed and comforted, and the persistence to keep going even when little obstacles occur.


Now try saying that about the other end of the age spectrum.....

Bernard, what is the difference between an oldie recieving a tax payer funded pension and a taxpayer funded hospital treatment? As you now a single hospital treatmen could be equal to many years of a persons pension. Why should taxpayers pay for either? I gues then that you will now be promoting a private health system. That is if you wish to be consistent. The health service is not making a profit so lets sell it and schools and all those departments not profitable, sell them all.

I paid my taxes so that when i get old and sick the free hospital system will look after me NO WAY says Bernard.

Of course we are getting nowhere blaming the banks for the crash so lets find someone else, more vunerable, to blame.

The difference is that you cannot spend hospital care on the pokies.

Ta for the link Bernard. Nice one opening another front on the Super Bennies. I hadn't clicked to the pokie angle, but you're onto it. I saw some sad Old Ones and women hooked up to Sky City's pokie chamber in the wee hours of Sunday mornings when I worked there.

And as Bernard goes into Crafar rant-mode again...

"Firstly, let's look at those pensioners who cheered and clapped John Key's comments on the weekend.

Most will be property owners sitting on large (tax free) capital gains and are expecting to be paid pensions and receive 'free' health care from the taxes that will be paid by tommorrow's taxpayers."

The pensioners who "cheered and clapped" are not ALL pensioners.

Not MOST of ALL pensioners will be sitting on large capital gains and they're not getting "free" health care - they've paid for it with their taxes over a working liketime at relatively high rates and with no influence on how they were spent.

There's little point in blaming them for being in the position of being able to spend their Super as they please - born in 1915, Mum used to have qualms about buying chocolate biscuits "because it's squandering money"

A solution would be to introduce compulsory pension contributions, with the final pension beng determined by lifetime contributions and low earners being topped up to a welfare level minimum.

Blaming a single group chosen at random for the ills of the country sounds frighteningly like post-Weimar Germany....

And before anyone works out that that I'm probably a baby-boomer, thus disqualifying me from making a contribution of any value to the discussion...

I have 2 pensions - a state one into which I've paid 8% of my gross salary (matched by my employer) and a company one which was financed directly from salary deductions.

A couple of nest eggs come on-line in a year or two. I've saved for those out of net salary.

I pay income tax on 50% of my state pension, on ALL of my company pension and I pay 15% of my gross pension for compulsory state health insurance.

I have ZERO qualms about living fairly comfortably

No, it's not New Zealand....

Good on you , John B . .Well done .

.... And for what it's worth , everyone is entitled to an opinion here at interest.co.nz ... everyone , well .. not steven , of course ... But everyone else is entitled to an opinion .

Glad to have read your's .

ah right everyone you agree with.....or agrees with you it seems....I wont lose sleep over it, honest.


Excellent ! ...... Sleep well , then .


Gummy are you "denying" Steven his right to an opinion ?

Wolly & DB have a theory that steven has no sense of humour . I thought it a worthy challenge to get an answer . So I put it to the test .

... I think we have our answer ...

Isn't scientific technique wonderful !


Dont need to be a scientist to figure that one out.....

BTW is your science peer reviewed GBH ?

Peer reviewed ? ..Easily done , if Bernard has the good grace to put it up as a survey ;

Does steven have a sense of humour :

A : Not much , but funnier than Sue Bradford , anyway

B : Yes

C : No

D : You've got to be kidding me , you can't be fricking serious !

E : steven , who ?

F : Is Hickey for real , another dumb-arse survey .

G : where's the gummy bears ?



Now that's a bit unkind GBH.....(funny but unkind)....you know we would not be without him...!

He offers a wealth of material worthy of review.....That said I ticked ...A:

We love ya Steven..!

I'm mulling the options , Count ..... F... A , or G ..... hmmm !

Come on , cheer up steven , the world may not end . ... Oops , maybe that will make you unhappier ...


I have a sense of humour, just I dont see that the things you post GBH are funny....silly, yes, funny, no.

Now if I look at cubicle life I see mine reflected....I laugh at it a lot because some days I feel like Dilbert oh so much.....I even have a pointy haired boss....or at least I did until the remainder of his hair fell out......


Cubicle life Steven......? that's ah ..........just a little ...too much information.

You know whats gonna happen now ...? GBH is gonna read that and not know where to start having a ball on your tab....

You think he's up to it?


I think Steven ...He'll be on it like a hawk on a gopher...just as soon as he's done planting out the new patch in the swamp.....you see, even he get's grief from her indoors to get on with it.

Oh I do as well....I have to make a new kitchen, out of bamboo....a nice wee project to keep me out of the way in the "mans" room. Except of course she's worked/run a lumber mill at one stage so knows as much of not more than me about wood working!





Sing out if you require supplies of giant bamboo , my new farmlet has 159 clumps of it . 20 metres tall . Awesome for construction .

.. as ever ,

regards !

Well making compressed bamboo panels might be a market for you....lots of greenies think its a great material. Certainly makes great floors....


They use bamboo extensively here . Only the wet weather & the termites affect it . Properly treated it can last forever ... and looks brilliant too .

... I'm suggesting to the lads that we build a bamboo war-ship , and head off to the Spratleys , to oust the Chinese invaders ( guess what , alotta oil  beneath the sea around the Spratley Islands !  ) ... how could we possibly lose , after all , their war-ships are...  " Made in China " .. aha ha !

Best way the regulate what the oldies spend is not to give them their benefit, oops 'entitlement' in the first place. Us self-made younger guys don't like the expectation by a person who think our taxes should pay for their recreation, how about they simply pay their own way and have a bit of self-reliance? But they are pretty selfish, anyone could voluntarily give up their benefit, faint chance though, and they would form a very determined self-interst group against any political party that tried to even do away with one little bit.  Mind you, not impressed either with the young lay-about group who think they have a right to get their hand-out and spend it on booze, drugs, whatever.

"and they would form a very determined self-interst group against any political party that tried to even do away with one little bit"

Im sure this will come to the fore, WP was there trying for just taht.  its going to be obvious within a few years that the pie is shrinking. At that stage there will be hell to pay as it becomes obvious public and even private pensions will pay little.....


the younger generation of NZ are severely disadvantaged in many ways. Many need to get a whopping student loan to get a degree, so they have big debt at the start of their working lives. Secondly, they face monstrous property prices relative to incomes. Thirdly, they are going to face a future of higher taxes to support an increasingly ageing population. NZ does not have a viable future unless it addresses these issues. Surley means testing super is an option? There will be plenty of loaded baby boomers who have made their fortune in property, it doesn't seem fair (to me) that they should get the same payouts as poorer pensioners, given that this is going to be a burden on young New zelanders who are the taxpayers of the future who face all these financial issues that the older generations never faced.  If a change of approach to super (means testing, raising the eligibility age) is not seriously considered, then the pensioners of the future will be even worse off as the system in totality will become unviable     

How about getting rid of the student loan system then? And reinstating the higher income taxes.  And bringing in a capital gains tax (and land tax and tobin tax).  All these help reduce the burden on most people.

You don't have to get a student loan.  Get a fulltime job, study extramurally part time through Massey to get your degree like I did (38 hours per week at work/30 hours per week study).  It takes longer but you'll get there with less debt in the end.  Stay living with your parents if at all possible (I couldn't), Save every dollar you can and don't buy consumer goods and stuff you don't have to have to survive. Buy secondhand. That is how you can do it.  That is how we did it.  Now stop whingeing if you don't want to live like that its your choice, not their fault!

That's very harsh.

He had three concerns and you only commented on one of them before telling him to stop whinging.

You've got, at best, one third of an answer.

Yep thats what I did...night classes etc, stayed at home until Mum gave me the hard word, no student loan.

Life is all about choices and as teenagers we need guidance. If that guidance isnt coming from home it needs to come from somewhere.


Well I visit this site on occasions & there is nothing like a bit of old age pension bashing to bring all the radicals out of the woodwork. 

What you bashers have lost sight of is that most of these oldies have worked for 40 to 50 years-paid taxes [in Rob Muldoons day these reached 60 odd cents in the dollar] --always with the expectation that some of this money was going for their future pension.  [this is totaly different from the young 16, 17,18 year olds who havnt contributed a cent to the revenue of the country & in many cases dont seem to have any desire too]

If these oldies want to play the pokies- drink alcohol etc, its still a free country.  

Yup , the gumnut is making a frigging fortune in hefty taxes on alcohol , ciggies , and gambling . ... . Bloody hypocritical  of them to  dictate who can and who cannot indulge in  these pleasures .

... as a matter of fact , those who throw all health & wealth considerations out to pursue their love of booze , cigarettes and betting , ought to be given medals . They're benefactors , generously recycling their monies back to the government !

Oldies are " Goldies " , ripe for the fleecing of !

So they paid taxes...oh goody...sorry but they have been lied to by pollies....why be surprised at that.

None of their money went to a future pension (until the Cullen fund), im not even aware that was stated any where?  More like you pay for the oldies today and the younger ones will pay for you tomorrow, quite why that was considered moral Im not sure...isnt certainly wont stand the test of time,maybe not even a decade.





About as moral as those who dont spend their entire working lives in a  country contributing to the tax base but then expect a pension when they retire....right ?

LOL....yeah right....a try hard eh....

No a different argument/context.

But your argument is covered I think...provided say all countries where the person has worked pay a % of the persons pension based on years wroked in each.  For instance I think with NZ and the UK you cant claim both pensions? you have to choose?  You can however for instance hand over your UK pension "entitlement" ? to the NZ Govn who then pays you a full NZ one?

Also of course with an external private pension coming in the NZ Govn/economy benefts from extra tax and spending.   I would assume there is adequate balance v the health claims/costs at some stage, pretty sure OAPs have to be healthy with no known serious/expensive health problems.  I also think pensioners can only come in if they have working children in NZ?  My tax alone for instance exceeds that of a pensioned couple by quite a margin.


All of the people who have been calling on young Kiwis to give up their luxuries for the greater good are now scrambling to justify the retention of goodie rights by old Kiwis.

BH reminded us that there are only around 1,600 kids on the dole, whereas 500k oldies are drawing down 8.8Bn in pensions.

Yes and a good proportion of that $8.8b goes to oldies in part or full employment. Why, when you magically go from 64 to 65 you suddenly get to claim a benefit? Time for a means test so that only those who need it get it. It's surprising that pensioners make no mention of the fact they happily draw an old age benefit while they work, and at the same time they criticise the idle youth on the dole.

The problem with means testing is that it is a huge disincentive to save.  If you save for retirement, the govt gives you less.  In the UK, the means testing regime means that a middle class person saving for retirement effectively is taxed on that savings at a rate of about 90% (figure from memory, but it is in that realm).

Far better to raise the retirement age, which doesn't produce any such distortion

Cheers to all. 

People don't save now.

Best to do both a means test and raise the age.

A major issue is a bulge in the  population statistics. The pension age should be raised so that we keep the proportion of people on the pension the same over time. It may even be lowered when a bulge passes. Where there is no Cullen type funding then the current population has to fund the pension.

There has always been an incentive for older people to keep younger ones in the country to keep the system going. Sadly the property investing group have been happy to have plenty of immigrants keeping property prices up. Now we lose too many young people to Australia and the UK. Many of whom are the very people we need most.

State pensions are affordable and desirable. The only people who benefit from the masses having to invest are those best equipped to rob them. We are too small a country to have an efficient open market, even retailing is getting too consolidated. Those who claim otherwise are spin merchants. Insiders are in a position to profit, and do.

Remember that many of the people who did put money away for retirement were let down to the max by toothless regulators and non functioning directors or trustees.


The changes made in the 1970's will probably have to be wound back.

Means testing.

Raising age to 65.

Reducing the wages link to 60%.

Link to long term residency.



Bernard says that young people cannot afford to buy a house because the older generation have loaded up on debt.

Is he suggesting that my unencumbered home will be much cheaper to buy.

This is a nonsense.

Bernard; leave it alone.  You will go blind.

Im not sure how you linked your sentences so I will.

BBS ahve indeed loaded up on cheap debt and pushed up house prices beyond a sustainable / fair level.

So with the global financial crisis mkII aka a Great Depression your house will indeed be worth less than its paper value today, maybe 50% less, maybe 90% less.

Not nonsense a prefectly logical opinion and point of view on the high probability of such occuring.


Right we means test the pension----why bother saving for the future--why not take a few trips overseas----buy a lot of the electronic stuff you young guys cant seem to do without --stash the rest in a family trust

You are just creating another reason for not bothering to work & save in NZ.

You can get a benefit at 16 through to the pension at 65--with all the other freebies throwin in

Far better to raise the age of qualification--but with a universal pension.


No, you guys are barking up the wrong tree about means testing, that simply compounds the problem in inviting /enticing people not to worry about their retirement,(no point in making it worse than it is) what you really need to do is to take away the whole concept of a benefit, or if you must have it, make it about 75 yrs.  I've just been on business to Korea and Sth Korea has a good national health system but doesn't expect elderly people to get a free handout from the taxpayer ie no pension, expect individuals to take more personal responsibility. And they have a higher per capita income than NZ. Wolly what's so wrong with people making their own retirement /superannuation provision, why the expectation to bludge on the taxpayer funding a superannuation? $8.8 billion handout just because older people expect it, is a problem and an ever growing problem.  The amount going to youth unemployment is such a minor fraction of that expenditure as to be neglible. 

 Excuse me - is this “ The Woodhill Retired Village” here ?

There's not much investigative work going on on this site by Bernard.

Bernard just takes what's already known and repackages it.

Not very productive I think, and this by a man who hammers every industry he thinks is non-productive. 

More like you dont like what he is saying.

Investigative work is research, reading, collecting data, manipulating it which you bring together as a "re-package" typical output is the graphs here....very good IMHO. 

It just seems some ppl have such blinkers that they dont want to read the URLS other info and "re-packaging" based on that info.

Really coming here is optional...if you dont think its of value why come? 


I don't think most posters here feel that Bernard does not have something to offer for thought...debate ...enlightenment...Steven.....just a case  of seeing the thread for what it was IMHO.(ha!)....Sunday newspaper style headline aimed for maximum emotive response..love it hate.. it......it appears the excercise was succsessful on his part ..and so little to argue on the point of his being productively effective.

One point I would make is ..try to have a bit o fun with it occassionally......it helps you not to close your mind to all opinion......after all thats all it is right..? opinion. 

Payment cards for WINZ not for team super. I do like the idea of a previous blog on here re the staggered retirement where you can choose to retire and the later you leave it the more you get paid. The total super payment is MASSIVE! What to do?

I retired at 60 instead of 65 and took an 18% hit on my pension.


Not in New Zealand, mind you....

Neally at the 150 comments, thats pretty good for a non-property blog :0

I hope one of the interviewers in the pre-election debates actually get an honest answer out of Key and Goff why they won't raise the retirement age. That would be my solution, raise it like the retirement commisioner suggested, slowly and gradually month by month until it got to 70 yrs. Most other overseas countries have raised the age of the pension.



How is raising the age fair on manual workers or on sectors of society where the life expectancy is less than those white male middle class office working types who so like their noses in the trough?

Well i still think Alex13 nailed it at 2.10pm....and I've gone out n bought a bassinet n all the stuff we are going to need for our life together............ of encapsulated bliss.

That said....you sound extremely logical...! I'm hoping that's a feminine trait......if not....well er..maybe we could be just good friends. 

Bernard, who at last is talking some macro economic sense, has lost his marbles and come out with the above attention grabbing nonsense.

It was the banks loaded up the economy with debt. Banks need to fail so that the surviving banks loan money more carefully and in a balanced way. Any idiot can see that this has not been the case in NZ. Why haven't successive governments taken action to address the problem?

Bernard, point the finger at politicians. They are the ones who provide the course corrections. We just try to do the best with what we have got.

Your opinion, not mine.

We as the ppl who took on debt, have loaded the economy with debt...not the banks....the banks supply the fix if we want it, we said yes.

There is no need for banks to fail, indeed its best they do not, however with the likes of ASB etc showing record/good profits in a severe downturn its pretty obvious we need to improve competition and tighten regulation.

Successful Govns have taken no action because a) They wanted to spend the taxes, b) Voters would have voted them out....

Pointing should be at the voters mostly (probably)...faulty neo-con economics at Treasury/central banks throughout the world, sure, voodoo economics from pollies, sure, lack of spine from Pollies, sure...but ultimately we have a democracy and we should be exercising it wisely, we are clearly not.



Quite, that was my point exactly. Where we disagree is that you do not see the need for our leaders to, well er, lead.


No, I do see that they should lead and yes they are inadequate, however we should want to be led, we dont.


Ahha, so you think we have lost confidence in our leaders?

Well, I have to confess that poor leaders do not inspire confidence. Great leaders have never had that problem. Perhaps too many of our best have gone overseas?

Are our politicians the Apparatchiks of the global economy? I wonder whether this is true of some, or are they just duped by having too many cosy updates from the banking fraternity?

I think that NZers respond to good leadership.

Bernard, the payment card scheme should include all government employees and politicians. It's only fair and reasonable.

hey RogerW I need a favor go up to Alex13 at 2.10 pm and give him the extra point  as Bernards dodging giving him comment of the day.....after you read it of course...and only if you want to of course.....I tell you this soliciting favor stuff is hard work....Thanks .

Ok done that, but I'm now rather warming to my idea. Why should taxpayers fund the bad habits of their employees?

um no.....now you are being silly.


Oh no! My cover is blown.

Ta Roger...now we wait n see if Democracy is truly at work here.....

Did you see that...!....LAJ's jumped at the same time....although still good ....it's a fix I tell ya....all because Alex13 referred to Bernard as having an unhealthy fixation and some other really good fancy words......

Your running a stacked game here Bernard....help !! help..!Alex13 at 2.10pm is getting the bums rush.....rise up and point your pooter for justice sake. 

Dear oh dear the comments here are hilarious - the outrage levelled at Bernard and his article! Many people here don't seem to realise that Bernard is not pensioner bashing, or suggesting hitting pensioners with any sort of control over their benefit; he's simply pointing out the hypocrisy of the policy outlined by a generation that has received massive tax breaks from tax-free capital gains on property and no student loans etc., has pushed their relative wealth way beyond what younger generations will achieve and now wants to control the finances from others.

Oh..! is that what it was..?...well sorry Mark I take it all back....as to the outrage...well it all a bit of a laugh in'it...I mean well you got to ave a laugh ain't you.....so's you don't get too carried away wiv your own sense o self importance...eh? 

But is it really hypocritical, to differentiate on the basis that somebody with over forty years' experience as an adult and (most probably) in the workforce, is owed more by society and can be better left to take responsibility for themselves, than a school leaver?

Dear oh dear your remarks are hilarious! 

Hey, we all realise the Bernard was just creating a stir for more publicity and copy. We just wanted some more serious discussion among ourselves. You can join in if you wish.

Anyway, don't you realise how wealthy we were when these folk went to university? Don't you realise where those who should have paid capital gains tax have gone? Hint: They are not here in New Zealand (although one still owns an island here).

The imbalance between supply & demand due to net immigration has inflated house prices. Add this to high government spending and you kill industry through high interest rates and a high dollar. No wonder our young are moving to Australia. The temptation is to replace them with immigrants, but I prefer having my own family around me.

The issues are serious and  we need the debate to be informed not inflamed.

It is not an inter-generational thing at all. Anno domini catches up with all, including you.

Ah yes, equality and fairness,the old socialist mantra.


FYI from a reader via email:

Hi Bernard

I usually really like your opinions. Perhaps I just need to get this off my chest, as I am *very* tired of the all-in-together category used when talking about people in this country and financial matters.

Re your comment

"They can see what the old have done in the last decade or two." ---

please do a gender analysis of this. The 'old ones' you are talking about are, by and large, not women. We have difficulties with sustaining work over a working life, are more likely to be entering old age in debt etc etc etc - gad some of us don't even know what our husbands earn - yes in this day and age. So gender analysis of these very general comments would be helpful.

and its not just you - another e.g. is the "MUM and DAD" investor  line of chat - how many investment mums are there ????????

Just a thought

Best Carol

Those who argue that means testing old age benefits are misguided as that is the biggest disincentive to save for retirement I can think of.  But as a person not in the Baby Boomer category, I find comment that us younger ones have it tough to be  quite laughable-actually  we are one of the most pampered generations around.  Anybody who is prepared to study for a goal, show a bit of enterprise and do some straight-forward hard yakka, can make something of themselves. It does mean some have to grow up and not just live for the moment and make some commitment.  The poor wee things etc is rather condescending, and we don't need BH and his followers to adopt that line they are pushing. 

Pay Attention Perenara Hiki (Maori n. anglicised = Bernard Hickey)

Congrats Bernard on a suitably controversial topic as to attract so many contributors!

The meagre savings made in this policy change should alert you to the fact that there is more to this than meets the eye. And indeed there is: The control over youth benefits is designed to 'persuade' the next generation that a lifetime on benefits is not viable. If this can be successful, it will save some money now, more over their lifetimes, and will even produce more due to the increased participation rate in society. Not only this, it makes it less likely that we will be faced with 'shopping-with-violence' type behaviour we have seen in the UK recently.

It's a bit late to re-educate those in receipt of National Super - however much fun this may seem to be.



Bernard can be the first "Bad Czar", the person appointed to tell us what's good and what's bad for old people.

Mao would be proud of you Bernard :)

Yes well done Big "B"......you are a star my boy..!...now turn to your beavers and with a casual flip of the wrist say.........."That's the way we do it  round here"    

Even if the policy made every young person on this benefit say " Stuff if I'm off to get a job or going back home" it would not make any difference in the greater scheme of things. I would wager that the amount of National Super dosh that gets spent on prostitutes and cocaine by aging lotharios who are already loaded would make it pale in significance.

BTW Bernard, it was our anniversary yesterday ("member since..."). No flowers, no card. I'm gutted.

Wolly .. calling Wolly .. where are you .. this your cue to do a comment on "where do you put the zimmer" .. I know .. a new sport .. planking on top of a zimmer ..

Jeez I do admit to a little coke with me rum but as for the other bit on the side...nah...I'd rather have another rum and coke....

"I would wager that the amount of National Super dosh that gets spent on prostitutes and cocaine by aging lotharios who are already loaded would make it pale in significance."

(A) You have no evidence whatsoever for that

(B) even if it's true, if they are "loaded" then it's their own money they are spending and none of anybody else's business 


Lighten up MdM. Just a spot a hyperbole in illustration of the ludocricy of paying an oldie dole to people like......well me actually. But y' know, gift horses, mouths, won't look there.

I'm really getting into the spirit of Bernard's Ideal Society Campaign. I'd like to propose we adopt a National Clothing Colour - black, and a National Dress - black jeans and black T-shirt. Also I think a National Bed Time would save a lot of wasted electricity, I suggest 9.30pm except on Friday and Saturday when 10.30pm might be more appropriate. A National Car - the Nissan Micra in green seems appropriate, very fuel efficient.

Of course some people might need to get a Special Permit if they work night shifts or tow something useful and really need a bigger car.

Am I missing something here? It all seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it?

Oh what fun!

Excellent call Bernard re superanuation accountability. Superanuation is a priviledge,not a right & the arguement that "they have paid their taxes" is not sustainable. One visit to a public hospital for a cardiac procedure will knock a big hole in all their past tax payments. We simply cannot have everything,total support, cushioning & must be accountable. We are so spoilt as a nation,not keen on self responsibility. Oh yes,I am a pensioner,female,71 & still having to work a little to keep my car & head above water.

Thank you Bernard. The top of Pandoras box.

Well said Wrat.....For mine  it's you and Amalgam.....aside  from the host of stars here...both posts very easy to relate to....Cheers for that.

P.S. sorry alex13...er we won't be doing the on line thingy now...stay well. 

Hi Wrat,

Our tax has already paid for a heap of other peoples' pensions. Now it is our turn. Not that my state pension bears any relationship to my contributions. It is far too small for that.

We need a system where the amounts saved for a state pension are explicitly stated at the individual level. We need the means to remove temptation from our politicians because they do not share a stake in the pension system because they have voted themselves their own.

Hi Wrat,

Our tax has already paid for a heap of other peoples' pensions. Now it is our turn. Not that my state pension bears any relationship to my contributions. It is far too small for that.

We need a system where the amounts saved for a state pension are explicitly stated at the individual level. We need the means to remove temptation from our politicians because they do not share a stake in the pension system because they have voted themselves their own.

Leave the oldies alone, as for the teeanagers, it would appear that the ones causing the most problem with buying drugs and alcohol are the lovely little children from well to do households, John Keys hood perhaps! , if all the media hype is anything to go by.