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Chart o’ the day: when doing something is doing nothing

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, August 16th, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: benefits - Tags:

I don’t have  a problem with paying rent and utilities direct for beneficiaries. Food stamps are fine in theory. Just shit in practice. But the bigger point is this: the problem is not enough jobs. This is $25 million spent for not a single new job.

34 comments on “Chart o’ the day: when doing something is doing nothing ”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    There is a huge amount of work to be done preparing society for the collapse of current economic arrangements (which is more or less certain by 2015). There is no need for ANY unemployment.

    The problem is, the dominant culture is a culture of denial of reality, a culture of make-believe, based on consumerism, based on propping up failing systems and transferring the last of the wealth generated by consuming fossil fuels to those who already have far too much.

    Those who benefit from present arrangements will not voluntarily give up their positions of power and privilege. It follows, just as night follows day, that everything that matters will continue to get rapidly worse.

  2. hellonearthis 2

    Their utilities payments would mean you couldn’t use a cheap power provider like The Powershop.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Why not? If you don’t pre-purchase any of your power, then you still get billed monthly.

      If anything, powershop could potentially be an end-run around these rules. If you have a bunch of cash and use it to pre-pay your power bill, then at the end of the month you have no bill. Presumably the whole point of this system is that they pay the utilities directly and then give the balance of the money to you on one of these cards. If your monthly post-paid power bill is $0, you end up with more money on your card.

      Now, you’d need some way of pre-paying the power with actual cash, which could be borrowed off a family member in return for you paying their grocery bill off your card. Admittedly this would be difficult given the general requirements that you have to meet as a 16 or 17 year old to receive the benefit in the first place, however.

    • felix 2.2

      Yeah it means you can’t change your power or phone provider to take advantage of discounts either.


  3. Lanthanide 3

    “This is $25 million spent for not a single new job.”

    Hang on. Isn’t most of this $25m going towards paying social workers and others to manage and support these youth beneficiaries? Surely that’s creating ‘work’ that doesn’t currently exist. Whether it creates additional jobs is another matter – they simply might stop doing some of the tasks they already do and replace them with these ones.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • mik e 3.1

      More cycle ways more boot camps please.$200million wasted on a hand full of jobs to make National rednecks feel good.Can I have some MORE please

    • You’re right, but that’s not what the chart is trying to say, they won’t be “extra jobs created by food stamps”.

      This policy will create jobs in the short term, from what I’ve heard mainly in third party organisations (that already work in this field). And it will make some young people more employable – even if there were more jobs most of this demographic are not job ready.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Pah, a $25M spend should create at least 600 new jobs for young people. If it doesn’t, its a total waste of money. A few private providers will profiteer. Watch Destiny Church doesn’t get it’s tithe.

        • mik e

          CV don’t hold your breath the $200million they have already spent on boot camps etc less than 100 jobs i think your being overly optimistic.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.2

        “You’re right, but that’s not what the chart is trying to say, they won’t be “extra jobs created by food stamps”.”

        That’s my point. Is rolling out the food stamps part of the scheme going to cost $25M? Or is the $25M for the rest of the scheme?

        For example, if it costs $1m to roll out the food stamps, and $24m to roll out the rest of it, saying “food stamps won’t create any jobs” and identifying that spending to be the full $25m is wrong.

        • Pete George

          “Food stamps” is just a term being used to try and demean the proposal.

          The cost of the independent youth benefits will presumably be the same, all they are proposing is that what is paid out is ring fenced to ensure it goes on actual living expenses.

          So I presume the costs will be on paying for people to be budget advisers, mentors, training schemes, rehabilitation etc. Most of the kids in the target group have had awful upbringings with poor role models and have not learnt good life skills.

          What the scheme seems to be trying to do is proved parent substitutes, belatedly. It’s very difficult. It’s hard enough getting the early school leavers to turn up at training courses, even when someone offers to pick them up from “home”.

          Turning crappy lives around as late as mid teens is very demading, could be expensive, but I think is worthwhile even if it can mamange a 50% success rate.

          • KJT

            it would be nice if that was the case, but I expect it will be like current HCN funding. Most of the money is paid to the “panel” who allocates it. If it was left to local managers, the money saved would allow another 100 kids on the program.

        • Akldnut

          Lanth if you take a step back at then look at it again IMO it says that of the 59,215 new benficiaries or 56,000 newly un-emloyed since National came into power that by targeting 2,206 youth and heralding it as a major economic construction they are being disengenious as to the actual effect it’s going to have on the big picture. (almost nothing)

          They haven’t even attempted to address the big problem of unemployment which is what the chart is pointing out and this is just dressed up as a look good, feel good programe designed to catch votes but in real terms doing next to nothing.

          Just smoke and mirrors again, it’s almost “look over here!”

      • mickysavage 3.2.3

        It might create jobs but they will be silly ones.
        What about more teachers, social workers, doctors, dentists, people to plant trees, plunket nurses, night school tutors …
        The money is twice that used to be spent on night school classes …

        • Pete George

          And it’s targeting people that have traditionally fallen through the cracks, many of whom have major issues and life problems and lack basic skills, and, if they are not given a hand up, are likely to feature in future crime, poverty and family problem statistics.

          • Akldnut

            Pete even you must be starting to question those soundbytes you spew out by now, or are you just so idealogically driven you can’t even hear the shit in your head before you type it!

            Reinstate nighschool classes for them and make it compulsory to go.

          • Akldnut

            Then tens of thousands would be able to go and it would provide a shit load of jobs, give them extra skills and those that have the so called higher asperations Shonkey keeps talking about would be able to fly like eagles.

      • mik e 3.2.4

        These third party jobs wouldn’t be the over stretched NGO’s The govt is burning out by over working and under funding them PG. There are less and less people getting involved in in the voluntary sector in this me me consumer society.Church attendance is down to 8% regular goers its the same sort of picture when it comes to just about all community organizations.Our self indulgent society has taken over.I’m alright jack who cares about anyone else.The govt is just fobbing the problem off to somebody else.

      • bbfloyd 3.2.5

        money redirected from existing programs is NOT new job creation… i assume a large proportion will go through turia’s bribe scheme… you know… the one where they have been cutting funding to existing programs, and giving it to hand picked recipients to do the same things that the canned programs were already doing.

        one thing i have learnt to rely on with the tories is their utter lack of imagination, or foresight when it comes to the REAL business of governance.. so they have a new pr team that dresses up old, failed ideas as “new, innovations” ,, yay!

    • felix 3.3

      Whether it creates additional jobs is another matter”

      No it isn’t. It’s the precise exact matter.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.4

      More likely they will hire people who are of a like mind , and if they piss around enough, then the kids will just tell em to shove it. See money saved.

    • bbfloyd 3.5

      Lanth…the “work” is already being done… it is severely underfunded, and are generally community initiatives, or holdovers from the last govt.. they are simply going to reinvent those jobs by continuing to cut funding to the existing programs, and replace them with their own people… taniara turia has been showing them the way with whanau ora..

  4. felix 4

    If they really wanted to help young people in poverty (seeing as apparently providing them with jobs is out of the question) then they’d teach them all how to cook.

    Best way to make a food budget go further, not that these National party fucks would know that.

    Oh that’s right, we don’t fund night school cooking classes any more do we? Idiots.

    • Night school cooking classes catered for a different demographic, they were more used by people who could already cook but who wanted to learn different ethnic styles.

      People that live off junk food and fast food are unlikely to volunteer for cooking lessons – unless it was a requirement for them to get taxpayer supplied benefits.

      • felix 4.1.1

        That was the spin Pete, but it ignores the facts. Cooking what you call “ethnic” food is often the cheapest way to eat.

        And no, I’m suggesting that cooking classes should be a compulsory but if they were made available for free to young people who need help with budgeting we could do a lot of good.

        • Pete George

          Being “made available” doesn’t work. Many non-cookers don’t have any desire to learn to cook, otherwise they already would have. Basic cooking skills are very easy to learn – but only if there’s a will to learn.

          It’s been proven that carrots and sticks can be effective encourage change habits learnt over a lifetime. Just offering fails.

          • Colonial Viper


            Let me expand: it’s society’s job to make sure there is water available and that horses are led to it.

            You can’t make a horse drink if it doesn’t want to, of course.

            But society must play its part.

        • Deadly_NZ

          hell i could teach teens to cook I have done it before. But kowtow to this govt i’d rather eat worms.

      • mik e 4.1.2

        Blinglish defended community night classes when in opposition saying the telfords polytecs [clutha electorate] classes build community cohesiveness it would be a mistake to take away funding, but soon as he got into power he axed the lot!

    • Bill 4.2

      Narrow the $ gap between unemployment payments and the average wage, and poverty becomes merely poor.

      Narrow the $ gap between unemployment payments and the average wage, and upward pressure is put on the pay rates of the worst payed jobs.

      More money being paid in lower paid jobs would mean less entitlements being paid by the government as subsidies for inadequate wage rates.

      Narrow the $ gap between unemployment payments and the average wage, and beneficiaries will not be compelled to do illegal under the table work to make ends meet…. which denies work to already employed people.

      Shift suitably able long term unemployed into advisory positions for those who are newly unemployed. Make the advisory positions fixed term. Two things happen. Long term unemployed get experience which may well lead to f/t employment and they are not in the position long enough to lose contact with the realities experienced by those they are helping.

      And yes, run cooking classes and gardening classes and whatever else could help unemployed people achieve a level of autonomy.

      Nah. Too sensible.

  5. Richard 5

    I thought it was better to teach people how to handle money, than baby them

  6. mik e 6

    No its political correctness gone mad

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