Because it’s failed ideology prevents it from leading job creation, National came up with ‘Community Max’. Pointless make work schemes have flourished. At the end, more participants are back on the dole than would have been if they had never left. A waste of time and money. Just like boot camps with a higher reoffending rate than home detention.
Paula Bennett, when she can be bothered being in the country and doing her job, is frequently asked about the success of Community Max. She replies that 70% of participants have not gone back on to a benefit after their six month minimum wage job, paid for by the government, is over. She doesn’t say 70% have gone into work, mind you. All she really says is that 30% go straight on to the dole. Presumably, others remain unemployed too but are ineligible for the dole, have gone into study, or have gone to Aussie.
Well guess what? Stats NZ data shows only 31.5% of all unemployed people remain unemployed after six months out of work anyway.
In other words, Community Max has had no discernible impact on whether an unemployed person will be unemployed in six months time. If you become unemployed, whether you do some stupid make-work job for six months (at a cost of $13,000 to the government) or not, you’ve got a 30% chance of being unemployed half a year later.
So, an employment programme that doesn’t do anything to get people into real jobs, alongside a horrendously expensive boot camp programme that has a worse reoffending rate than home detention and other forms of community sentence.
I wouldn’t have thought you could spend all this money and have a negative effect on employment and crime, but I clearly underestimated Paula Bennett’s shear fucken uselessness. Whoever put her in charge of a $20 billion a year budget deserves to be exiled to his mansion in Hawaii.
Paying the entire wage bill for an organisation to hire someone is just stupid economics. The employer faces no cost of labour, so is not incentivised to use that labour to produce anything of real value. What this government should have done is created the worthwhile jobs themselves and let the unemployed fill them, rather than grabbing the unemployed and then trying to find something for them to do.
For instance, the government could have given Kiwirail some extra money to build its new railcars here rather than buying them from China. Of course, getting that production done here made economic sense without any additional sweeteners but the point is there are plenty of worthwhile jobs that government entities could create with a little extra funding and these jobs would actually produce things of worth to the country stimulating further jobs and production, something Community Max has completely failed to do.
Do we blame National’s failures in employment on their incompetence or the fact that they just don’t care? I think the latter. It’s too easy on National ministers simply to label them nitwits. They’re smart enough to convince people that the emperor has clothes, then they should be smart enough to spend money on employment and get a result that is better than nothing.
I really think that they just don’t care. The concerns and needs of ordinary Kiwi families just don’t appear on the radar of these elitists, except in so far as they impact on whether Bennett keeps her quarter of a million salary and paid holidays, and Key gets to keep to playing the clown and giving himself tax cuts.