Dog whistle politics to some, beneficiary bashing to others. But is there logic to National’s policy on benefits? Gordon Campbell asks:
Will John Key’s policy announcement on welfare this afternoon do much to resolve the problems it claims to address? Hardly…
It is as if National felt the need to beat up on beneficiaries somehow, and somewhere – and so it picked primarily on solo parents, the group of beneficiaries widely recognized as being in LEAST need of extra motivation to get off the benefit.
One angle I thought was interesting was a study done by the Ministry of Social Development which looked at the health (and mental health) status of sole-mothers. If they are already more likely to be sick then sending them out to work with penalties if they don’t is not likely to lead to good outcomes, for either the parent or the children.
And one question I was hoping to hear asked – what are the penalties planned for those who do not abide by the rules? And what happens if there are others (like children) living in the household?
There’s a fundamental difference in approach here with both sides arguing that the studies back their logic. However as Simon Collins suggests:
…there are other factors besides welfare in the breakdown of the traditional family, and forcing parents into paid work may not be the answer.