The announcement from National that they’d bribe unemployed beneficiaries to go to Christchurch was “An empty grab for headlines” as No Right Turn eloquently put it. It looked more like an attempt to divert attention away from the continuing disaster of Judith Collins.
National has announced that they’ll pay beneficiaries $3,000 to move to Christchurch to take up work. Superficially it seems like a good idea, and that’s the point: to grab a cheap headline. Meanwhile the details of the policy make it clear that they don’t actually expect anyone to take them up on the offer.
His enumeration of exactly how National has made it a completely useless gesture are in his post. But I suspect that he is completely correct in saying:-
Which is a shame, because the idea of WINZ paying people’s relocation costs to get them jobs in areas which need workers isn’t bad. But it needs to be their actual relocation costs, not some pittance, and it needs to be risk-free for them. Relocating to another city for a job is risky enough, and WINZ should be trying to reduce that risk, rather than pile more on top of it.
I’d just also point out that anyone who has dealt with WINZ knows that they have a great deal of ‘difficulty’ whenever anyone moves. Their computer and filing systems appear to have a inability to span the country or in many cases even a single city. To move is to have your files lost and any expectation of getting promised money from them dissipates in a haze of bureaucratic waffle and stand downs. So good luck on them remembering to pay people who fulfill the impossible conditions – like even finding a place to rent in Christchurch.
National should have followed their rumoured model for getting rid of their unwanted MPs. Awash with money from selling the time of their Ministers, there has been a whisper that those the hierarchy want gone can get about a quarter of a million dollars covered by a nasty confidentiality agreement to just announce their early retirement. One way to get a renewal. But they often appear to wasting the slots they create.
Perhaps if National used those ill-gotten gains on bribing WINZ beneficiaries at a higher rate then they’d have replaced some of their disappearing constituency in beleaguered Christchurch under czar Brownlee.