The Dom has a story about Benjamin Easton, an activist for keeping Manners Mall in Wellington traffic-free, boasting that he is on the dole so he has time for his activism. The guy sounds like a bit of a dick, frankly, and WINZ has called him in for work testing since you can only get the dole if you are trying to find work.
Paula Bennett is naturally claiming that this is an example of the need for her welfare reforms.
Umm, no it’s not. WINZ can already kick Easton off the dole if they discover he isn’t trying to get work. Having every person on the dole reapply after a year would not have caught Easton. All it does is waste WINZ’s resources re-approving genuinely unemployed workers leaving fewer resources for helping people into work.
That’s where National should really be directing its attention: towards matching people with work, becoming more like a jobs centre. That would actually help things. Punitive measures against people who genuinely want to find work will not.