Welfare is supposed to provide a safety net for those in need. What happens to people when they are pushed off the net? They get desperate. This account from Australia describes a typical outcome:
Single mums turn to brothels and stripping
Some single mothers hit by recent Australian welfare cuts to parenting payments have turned to prostitution and strip clubs in order to keep a roof over their family’s head.
The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments. …
A spokeswoman from a Brisbane brothel told AAP there had been “influx” in applications from single mothers looking for work since the welfare changes came through. She said there had been about 20 applications. … A woman from a St Kilda brothel said she had also noticed a huge increase in single mothers seeking sex work. “It’s sad. They’re doing it to pay their rent,” …
Adelaide single mother Samantha Seymour said a woman she knew of affected by the payment cuts had spoken to a male staffer at Centrelink about her desperate situation. “She told him ‘What am I supposed to do? Turn to prostitution?’ and he replied ‘You have to do what you have to do,” Ms Seymour said.
Here in NZ, of course, the Nats have embarked on a similar cost-saving exercise, chucking people off welfare, and applauding themselves on the results. 12,000 people have been purged from benefit lists, including the unemployment benefit, at time when unemployment is still rising. The question of what then happens to these people has been raised again and again and again – with no answer from National. No doubt NZ will see reports of predictable consequences in due course.