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Treasury’s Welfare Proposals

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, October 13th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: benefits, welfare - Tags: ,

Whilst I realise I’m a little late on blogging on this, the latest ideological burp to come out of the right-wing think-tank that is our nation’s Treasury still needs examining.

Of course Treasury submitting to the Welfare Working Group is more a meeting of like-minds than their usual pushing to the right, but it’s interesting to see which proposals they give their backing to.

Not the insurance-based madness, Treasury don’t fancy being in charge of overseeing that inefficient bureaucratic nightmare; but they are keen to send solo mums out to work before their kids reach school.

Whether those mums will be able to afford childcare or just get sent to prison for child neglect is unclear.  I’d rather have someone focussed on the job raising our next generation than an overworked stressed-out parent without time to bond.  Life is harsh enough for a sole working parent with a 6-year-old: for a 6-year-old child having to do after-school clubs makes a long day; and it isn’t much of a life for the solo parent with a full-time job before coming home to bathe and feed the children, help with homework, pack their lunches and get them ready for the next day at school, before crashing into bed.  How much worse for pre-school kids?  Is that the way we want our next generation raised?  Will that help generate a group of super-kids?  Or is it just more terribly short-term thinking, looking at balancing the budget this year, and not at the human cost, or our country’s future.

Treasury do at least realise that extended parental leave is required.  From my point of view, necessary to establish a stronger bond between parents and child that will greatly improve the child’s emotional ability, and feed through to a more successful life.  From Treasury’s: to be able to keep mothers in the work loop.

They also agree that our statutory minimum of 5 days sick pay per year is too little – it must be absurdly little if even Treasury think so!

But their biggest idea is moving vast amounts of people (~70%?) from the Invalids and Sickness Benefits onto the dole, as Britain have done.  This has caused a huge injustice in Britain, and would here.  The insanity of it is especially obvious in a job market with no jobs.  Sickness beneficiaries essentially just take a benefit cut, are forced to go to pointless interviews, and still have no prospect of work.

If people are on Sickness or Invalids Benefit they are going to need more help, not less, to get back to work.  Rather than taking away from them the small amount extra they get each week to cover their additional expense; they need extra programs to get them useful skills, to help employers adapt to their needs, and to help them adapt to the job market.  If a computer expert’s off sick with an occupational overuse condition, is it more beneficial causing them to develop another one as a cleaner, or organising an employer and workplace that can still use their skills, executed in a slightly different way?  But National are always keener on the Penny-wise Pound-foolish way, so they’d prefer to force the person to go to interviews for cleaning jobs – and get turned away for being over-qualified.

Treasury being Treasury, their other big proposal involves privatisation.  They want private companies to provide welfare services – because it’ll presumably be cheaper with some profit added in.  I’m not automatically against this, some services can be provided privately – if they can prove to be cheaper in the long term (which includes getting more people permanently off benefits into the equation), and the state continues to provide a service for the private companies to compete with private monopolies are just foolish).

So all-in-all a pot pourri of some really bad ideas with a couple of sensible ones thrown in.  What do you think?

61 comments on “Treasury’s Welfare Proposals ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    …the latest ideological burp to come out of the right-wing think-tank that is our nation’s Treasury still needs examining.

    I think treasury should be fired as they’re no longer working for the best interests of NZ but for the best interest of the select (rich) few.

  2. lprent 2

    This got drowned out by act disintegrating, paul henry, the local body elections, and the carter meltdown. However it is far more important than any of them.

    From what I understand, they are want to put everyone on an invalids and sickness benefit on the unemployment benefit. Now there are a few depressed layabouts like Whale on that benefit who are probably employable – I suspect flipping burgers would be good for him. But most are people who have serious mental illness requiring substantial care just to survive or substantial physical disabilities that are going to make it almost impossible to employ them in anything like a ‘normal’ work environment or major mobility issues.

    The same thing applies with woman on the DPB. My sister was raising two under-5’s on her own in the early 90’s after her marriage fell apart. She was during that idiotic era under Shipley when she was required to turn up every month to sit around waiting at a government office to detirmine that her circumstances hadn’t changed from the previous month. How fast do these morons in Treasury think that children grow up? There was absolutely no way that she could work until she got both kids off to school. Instead she was did some part-time training at ATI – missing lectures when she couldn’t find a baby-sitter (often me) or a kid was crook. Once both kids were off to school, and when she could, she finished the training as fast as possible and went out and got a job.

    Of course this path out of the DPB is virtually impossible to perform these days since Anne Tolley and Paula Bennett slashed access to adult education. Tolley, you can probably excuse as just being a out of touch idiot. But Bennett is an inexcusable hypocrite as she took advantage of the educational possibilities whilst on the DPB, and then killed them now that she doesn’t need them anymore.

    All of these points are major headaches for employers just trying to run a business and they simply won’t employ them. Not whilst they have large numbers of able bodied and minded unemployed to select from. Even when the supply of employees is tight usually the costs outweigh the benefits to employers in any ‘normal’ job.

    You’d need a different type of job to be able to employ most of the people on the sickness and invalids benefit. But for some reason I can’t see any Treasury work on how to make that type of job being more available? For that matter it seems to have completely bypassed the attention of the working group.

    Quite simply this is a move that makes no sense at an economic level. It just looks like vindictive short-focused politics masquerading as ‘economics’. In effect it is meaningless harassment for people on the DPB, sickness, and invalids benefit. The real trick is not to put people who are incapable of working in the current employment environments into a situation where they will simply be turned down all of the time. In the meantime try to develop work environments where their skills can be used. The latter appears to be a task that is too far for the lazy pricks at Treasury.

    • lonelyavenger 2.1

      “Now there are a few depressed layabouts like Whale on that benefit who are probably employable – I suspect flipping burgers would be good for him.”

      You’re a class act, lprent. Perhaps you should consider joining the gotcha team? You’d fit in well.

      • ZeeBop 2.1.1

        So only those ideological pure in leftwingism can get the dole?

        Whale has a mental problem, one I believe would be exasperated by flipping burgers, and
        cause hime to take his own life.

        The problem of benefitary bashing is it didn’t start with National, Labour are as
        just rightwing economically as the National. This would explain why Goff is
        hesitating to put any mileage on the meter, fear of being progressive might
        get the media lobby beating up Labour, but then again Labour might just be
        using that as an argument to not having to give up their own neoliberal with
        a lefty twist.

        I think we all forget too easily how democracy was won, by people just
        not going along with it, suicide is in some ways a political statement in
        out culture.

        • Ari 2.1.1.1

          Rightwingers are perfectly entitled to take benefits, but I’d appreciate it if they didn’t kid themselves into thinking they’re the only people who “really deserve” them, and that the whole system is full of bludgers. Our benefit system is actually pretty good at transitioning people to work during economic growth, the issue right now is that essentially that there’s no work to transition to.

        • Vicky32 2.1.1.2

          “Whale has a mental problem, one I believe would be exasperated by flipping burgers, and
          cause him to take his own life.”
          If flipping burgers didn’t cause a woman with autism I used to teach, to top herself, I don’t know why you think that!
          If he has clinical depression, the right job would probably be good for him!
          Deb

      • lprent 2.1.2

        Always happy to make your day….. But like his insurance company and from further outside, I can’t see anything that would make him different from many depressed people that I’ve worked with in jobs ranging from factories to programming. Depression is one of the most common of the mental instabilities and there are a lot of people who keep working through it.

        When I’ve been depressed for months on end the absolute last thing I want to do is hang around home looking at a computer screen.

        • burt 2.1.2.1

          lprent

          What works for you and what works for Whale just might be two different things…

          • ZeeBop 2.1.2.1.1

            Sure there is a job for Whale, but losing home, losing work, to find yourself at fifty flipping burgers would be a sure fire way to kill off a lot of people incapable of the contorted necessity to fit their self image around such a huge turnround in their fate. Flipping burgers is a good stepping stone for the young to meet, experience customer service and realize they are much better than that.

      • bbfloyd 2.1.3

        L.A…actually, he(whale blubber) would probably fill paul henry’s old job well. he’s got all the quals necessary to be the next famous bigoted, arrogant, self important buffoon… he just needs to up the clearasil dosage.

    • NickS 2.2

      From what I understand, they are want to put everyone on an invalids and sickness benefit on the unemployment benefit. Now there are a few depressed layabouts like Whale on that benefit who are probably employable – I suspect flipping burgers would be good for him.

      Actually, physical labouring would probably be a better bet, since sustained physical activity is usually beneficial for those with depression, where as stuff like flipping burgers and other service jobs are probably going to have a much lesser impact. And then there’s whether or not Cameron’s suffering motivation, fatigue and sleep symptoms that from my past and present experience makes some jobs difficult to do. On top of finding an employer whole take him on…

      Also, “depressed layabouts”, lolwat? There’s a huge difference between motivation issues caused by depression and plain old laziness, in that the threshold for getting stuff done goes from minor effort to major headache, even for such simple things as going for a bike ride. And to figure out what exactly is going on, you need to look at everything Cameron’s doing rather than just his blog-diarrhoea before the “layabout” tag can be stapled to his forehead.

      • lprent 2.2.1

        Nick – I didn’t say the he was lazy. As you say – just look at his blog output. Hell I was the same in the early 90’s when I was probably clinically depressed after a relationship breakup. I did a lot of bbs, usenet, learning Apis and writing inordinate amounts of code whilst living off the proceeds from periodic contracts.

        But I remained essentially static mentally through all of the furious activity until i stopped staring at the screen and walls at home and went back to work onsite full-time. Turns out that having a routine and dealing with people face to face at the silly gossip level was what I needed at the time.

        A few years later i returned to working from home, and I move back and forth between workplace and home all of the time depending in the requirements if the jobs. But I suspect that huddling at home isn’t the best way to overcome depression.

        • NickS 2.2.1.1

          ugh, too tired to make a sensible reply, but in a nutshell, “layabout” triggered me, because of it’s typically usage to imply laziness, due to the concept of ableism that I’ve been introduced to by blogs such as shakesville etc. Though I do understand where you’re coming from.

          Also:
          http://thecurvature.com/2009/05/01/blogging-against-disablism-day-on-depression/

          Nick now go blob due to only 4hrs of sleep on top of an hour of swimming yesterday that knocked the literal stuffing out of him.

        • Vicky32 2.2.1.2

          “But I suspect that huddling at home isn’t the best way to overcome depression.”
          You’re absolutely correct, it isn’t! (I have endogenous depression that’s reasonably severe )
          Deb

  3. Bill 3

    Once worked a job where the workers with dependent children received a substantially higher rate of pay than the rest of us. This was by the agreement of all employees…that workers collective beastie again. This allowed them to pay for childcare etc and was simply based on the fact that a single parent had far higher unavoidable outgoings than a single person in the job or a working couple with children etc.

    Anyway. Can’t envisage such thinking emanating from government or treasury or any private business any time soon.

    • burt 3.1

      Bill

      You have hit the nail on the head – an agreement in an individual workplace. Exactly the kind of thing that can’t be done under a one size fits all collective agreement spanning numerous businesses.

      You have just highlighted the power of individual contracts… Well done.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        You have just highlighted the power of individual contracts… Well done.

        No burt, take a wee bit more time to read it again, sounds like its a collective contract with variable conditions or schedules applying depending on the circumstances of the employee.

        • burt 3.1.1.1

          So sort of like individual contracts where people with dependent kids get paid more for doing the same job by agreement with the other people in a single workplace… wonder what union arranged that ?

          So, how many unions classify a collective contract as being one that spans just one workplace and has different terms and conditions based on individual circumstances?

        • burt 3.1.1.2

          Colonial Viper

          I would actually go so far as to say the reason we don’t see more of this kind of arrangement is because of collective agreements that peg a salary to a role rather than acknowledge different individuals have different needs/wants and different individuals bring different value to the same role.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1

            You forget that business interests aren’t interested in acknowledging individuals’ needs and wants, just acquiring individuals’ labour at the lowest possible cost, while encouraging economic conditions which make that lowest possible cost very, very low.

            I would actually go so far as to say the reason we don’t see more of this kind of arrangement is because of collective agreements

            15% or less of NZ workers work under collective agreements or are unionised.

            So whats your excuse for the other 85%, burt?

            • ZeeBop 3.1.1.2.1.1

              I think you are wrong, you’ve believe the neo-liberal nonsense.

              Scientists are individuals with families, with responsibilities, they have morals and ethics.

              Atheists are individuals with families, with responsibilites, obey the law, have morals and ethics.

              Business people… …, and they want their kids to inherit their wealth, a planet worth living in.

              Sure there are sociopaths in all parts of society, and a few businessmen who don’t understand
              their customers, who don’t spend every waking moment trying to empathize with their customers
              needs and wants.

              • Colonial Viper

                Business people… …, and they want their own kids to inherit their wealth, a planet worth living in.

                There fixed it for you. Now tell me how the baby boomer generation justify their cutting of taxes to themselves, forcing younger generations to pay tens of thousands for the education and professional qualifications they obtained for free, creating a society of spiralling debt based cash allowing the inflation of the housing asset bubble which subsequently pushed house prices beyond the reach of the younger generation – while skyrocketing their own asset holdings.

                Scientists are individuals with families, with responsibilities, they have morals and ethics.

                yeah, I heard that the scientists on the Manhattan Project lost quite a few nights sleep over the results of their work. By the way, which science PhD or undergraduate programmes do you know that have a large component of morals and ethics?

                • ZeeBop

                  Thatcher told the boomers it was safe to loosen finance.

                  Picking an outlier like the Man.Proj. isn’t a example of the general case.

                  Scientists love their kids too.

                  Business accepted that fiscal relaxation in the 80s was a good idea because cheap high density energy was gushing out of the middle east.

                  Business has know for some time that the oil wells would run dry.

                  The problem is the few, most powerful filters on redirecting political momentum, were all making too much money by spinning and distorting markets now flooded with liquidity. Those few media mogals didn’t want to give up the power when reality came knocking.

                  The basic core lesson taught to average kids, usually by their parents and/or observation, is that you can have too much of a good thing. This was not taught to the small number of elite media mogals who did not understand that too much greed is not greedy enough. Too much greed means you lose more than you would, its inefficient to do any activity to excess.

                  We see it in binge drinkers, boy racers making anti-social noise, somewhere along the line the media stopped explaining that pushing the limit is actually a setup, a quick cheap way to con individuals out of money, time, and control them.

                  This doesn’t mean business people are bad, which we all are employers, poor people create jobs too! When they hire people to fix their home! Its the neo-liberal view that you can have your cake and eat which is the scam. That markets are frictionless and so friction free theories show taxcut are always good.

                  The left are wrong when they seperate workers and employers, we are one and the same.
                  Employers can distort, abuse, their employees far easier when the employees are seem as
                  other than them, the gift that every unionist gives to employers. A return to unionism won’t work since a hundred years of increasing productivity has meant we need more diverse, independant
                  employees and unions serve mass employment. Unions will have their place, on the board of companies working for employers and employees to maximize profits and wages.

          • Vicky32 3.1.1.2.2

            burt, maybe you can answer a question I have had since I became unemployed… Why do employers call them ‘roles’, rather than jobs or even positions these days? Calling jobs ‘roles’ seems weird to me – it’s the same as saying “business is a weird fake thing”..
            Deb

      • Bill 3.1.2

        Em. No Burt. I’ve highlighted the power and flexibility of workplaces that are under direct worker control.

        So, no vertical division of labour. No class conflict demarcated by profit interests versus wage interests. No outside arbiters negotiating between two opposing agendas (bosses and workers). And so on…

        • burt 3.1.2.1

          Bill

          I agree, it is the flexibility of workplaces under direct worker control.

          Do you mind me asking the nature of the business? And do you mind me asking what percentage of the workforce were unionised on an industry specific collective agreement while participating in direct worker control?

          • Bill 3.1.2.1.1

            The nature of the business was and is food manufacturing and distribution employing 25 people with a turnover north of two million pounds (> $NZ 4 million).

            So if the business was in NZ, then there could be no application of the ERA. The ERA deals with the power differentials present in environments with vertical divisions of labour. The co-op has no vertical division of labour. What we are looking at is essentially a collective where each member of the co-operative is a boss and a worker at the same time and each has the same power as any other in terms of business decision making and execution.

            In line with a philosophical outlook that embraces concepts of industrial democracy, there are members who are members of unions. This is basically an act of solidarity as opposed to being based on any practical consideration; the union would be representing the co-op member against themselves ( ie the self same co-op member) if they were to become involved in employment matters in the co-op.

            Maybe I’ll do a post on all this stuff leaning on my experience of collectives and include difficulties in relation to NZ employment legislation….and encompass some of the basic differences between jobs ( inequitable and disempowering) and work (empowering and equitable)…

  4. Have’t heard much about the other parent’s responsibility. When are deadbeat dads going to be properly hauled up for their share in the raising of our next generaton of “super-kids”? A good start would be to divert their Kiwisaver money each week to their children’s account. And negotiating a deal with Australia on getting child support from those that shot over the border leaving their spawn to fend for themselves (and on the NZ taxpayer’s account). Another reason to set up a national DNA database to identify negligent fathers.

    • a national DNA database

      Surely you jest?! 😯

      And negotiating a deal with Australia on getting child support from those that shot over the border leaving their spawn to fend for themselves (and on the NZ taxpayer’s account).

      We already do.

      • uroskin 4.1.1

        Nothing wrong with a DNA database, Iceland has one. It’d solve parental claims and crimes more easily.
        I wouldn’t know how to dog-whistle, am just in favour of sending the DPB bill to the deadbeat dads.

        Captcha: mothers

    • bbfloyd 4.2

      Uroskin… keep up with the times… NZ and Aus have had reciprical agreements regarding child support for well over a decade now. even western aust came on board in 2000.

      you need to understand that dog whistling is not a substitute for intelligent discussion.

  5. Bill 5

    Sickness is such a subjective term.

    What if you are suffering from a certain level of sanity that might naturally accompany maladjustment to our sickened society? Are you then to be expected to subject yourself to the unhealthy influences of societies sicknesses, for example as expressed through our conventional work environments, thereby risking detrimental mental and physical health impacts?

    If we ascribe to the view that our environment impacts on our mental well being and consider that most of our waking hours are spent in fairly depraved job environments….what are the figures for anti-depressant medication again? Is it 1 in 4 adults? Plus how many of us on some form of self medication?

    And then all that misguided and foisted upon us ‘sense of worth’ biting us on the arse when the job is taken away or retirement beckons or the retirement investments fail sending us spiralling into a vortex of happy pill dependency or suicide.

    Meanwhile, Treasury’s institutional squeeze aside, why are we as a society so keen to force fairly powerless and psychologically detrimental job environments on one another again?

    Any sane explanations welcomed.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      …why are we as a society so keen to force fairly powerless and psychologically detrimental job environments on one another again?

      From what I can make out, it’s a combination of habit and not knowing any better.

    • ZeeBop 5.2

      Its the pernious National Socialism that both National and Labour persist in protecting.
      That government has a right to dictate what is or is not responsibility should send
      shivers down the back of every liberty lover.
      The governments role is not to punish non-conformity, its role is to set rules that
      faciliate as greater diversity as possible.
      Obviously Labour-ites, like their National-ites, brothers have no love of liberty since
      they continue to use the language of fascism to define the role of government.

      • Bored 5.2.1

        An interesting observation ZeeBop, I have thought for a while that there are a lot of corporatist similarities between Nat and Lab. NZ was introduced to corporatism via Labour by the Douglasites, and Palmer set the standard for political adherence to “modern management” practices within politics. The Clark government included Goff and other allies of Douglas, Moore and Palmer, and look where Goff is now. I would stress they had 9 years to overturn the corporatist legisaltion and governmental structures inheritted from that dark period. In effect they handed over intact to the incoming Nact corporatist set up. So its smiling iron fist populist corporatism now, replacing Helens velvet glove version.

        In mitigation I can at least see that Labour are trying to reinvent themselves and their policy making. They need however to remember that leopards do not change spots, it is often better too cage them off, retire them.

    • bbfloyd 5.3

      Bill. maybe because society has been believing their own press clippings for far too long now.. and lets face it, getting most people to think for more than a few seconds is like trying to teach a pig to dance. it wastes a lot of time, and simply annoys the pig.

    • Bored 5.4

      Bill, perhaps we have collectively lost faith in the meaning of what we do. When we see the treadmill, the responsibilities and the daily grind that is most workers lot, and compare it to our rewards it probably destroys our self respect, our faith in improving things,our motivation. Then we reach for the pill.

    • Bill 5.5

      Funny how all the answers are couched in terms whereby the answerer is detached from the society in the question. There is no ‘I’… So I’ll rephrase.

      Why do you want unemployed people to have a job?

      note. That is not asking why you think unemployed people might want a job.

      I guess I could ask any of you who are employees: Given the generally powerless and psychologically damaging environments that most jobs are located within, why would you want your job? Or any job? And even if you are one of the fortunate employees to be in a generally empowering job environment, why would you want that job knowing that it contributes to and legitimises a job culture that diminishes people?

      • Bored 5.5.1

        Bill, why do I want the unemployed to have a job? The answer is that I think everybody needs to belong to something that does something useful and tangible for themselves and their fellow humans, to belong, and to be able to provide for themselves (and others who cant provide for themselves) materially.
        Why would you want your job? For the reasons above, but not in the current employer / employee nexus for any reason of equality of outcome or expectation.

      • Vicky32 5.5.2

        As an unemployed person, I want a job for two reasons – for money, and for a sense of purpose. Something to care about – mind you, when I am employed, I am a teacher, not in a burger joint! (In which case it would all be about the money, and I’d make more even in a burger joint than I do on UB..)
        Deb

  6. just saying 6

    This continued scape-goating, harrassment and bullying, not to mention further impoverishment, of the poorest, sickest and most disadvantaged people in our communities is sickening. It reminds me of a modernised “Lord of the Flies” pandering to the basest and most ignoble human drives.

    But what makes me fear for the future of New Zealand is the fact that our biggest left-wing party is too afraid of unpopularity to stand up and say unequivocally that its wrong – to stand up for the victim instead of the victimiser. It is effectively an endorsement.

  7. The insanity of it is especially obvious in a job market with no jobs.

    Isn’t that the main criticism to be levelled against Treasury over all this? If NZ had “full” employment, then it might be acceptable for the public schoolboys on the Terrace to indulge in a bit of fantasy of having all those solo mums forced into the workforce so they’d have more “talent” to hit on at the office Christmas Party (because I can’t see the point beyond that).

    But when there are people ahead of solo mums and invalids in the queue – people able bodied, without school aged children, and willing, nay desperate to work – shouldn’t these boy economists be castigated for their complete and utter failure to concoct policies which increase employment, promote real productivity, and improve NZ’s international competitiveness?

    • comedy 7.1

      Barry Matthews has been mployed at high levels within the civil service for years…. nuff said, I expect that many of the turds in treasury are also ‘lifers’ on the public tit……. buffoons, brigands and bastards the lot of them.

      Now about welfare – why is it impossible for the bureaucrats, politicians or bloggers to have an honest converstation starting with how much welfare and of what type is being delivered and at what cost, how much has it increased/decreased over the last 20 years allowing for population growth and employment/unemployment and then having a jolly good think and discussion…….. oh it’s all too fucking hard let’s just go down the track we do with Mr Lauren Awder and throw banalities about which change nothing.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      What they should be castigated for is producing similar policies to the ones that caused the GFC in the first place, have caused a massive increase in poverty in NZ over the last 3 decades as well and not learning from the absolute failure of those policies. They just spout the same BS.

      Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
      Sounds like the idiots in Treasury.

  8. BLiP 8

    the latest ideological burp to come out of the right-wing think-tank that is our nation’s Treasury

    Lovely turn of phrase but you are assuming it was actually public servants and not John Key’s bankster mates turned “consultants” that actually prepared the submission. Among the National Ltd™’s first actions was to embed its own operatives within the public service, hide their whereabouts by paying them via departmental budget, and leave them in place long enough to start driving through this sort of nonsense.

  9. Jeremy Harris 9

    @lprent, my best friend is going through a period of serious mental trauma at the moment – I reccomended that she should look at going on the sickness benefit for a while and her threapist ripped me a new one saying work was a motivating factor in getting her out of her bed everyday and quitting her job would be a massive backwards step…

    The answer for mental illness is not going on the benefit…

    The answer for reducing poverty is not putting people on the benefit…

    The answer for reducing dependency is not to increase benefit payments…

    If you incentivise negatives you get negatives…

    • ZeeBop 9.1

      Benefits is such a loaded term, when a business give a benefit to a citizen, or to charity, its
      good. But Labour and National seem to believe that the obligation of government to provide
      income support (tops ups) are somehow an opportunity to punish citizens. Like jobs will
      magically appear if benefit are politically beating up. Fact is the wealthy have the opportunity,
      should have the ability, and the government should reward them for creating jobs.
      But we don’t live in a capitalist nation anymore, the markets crashed, national socialism
      now reins supreme, its how the Nazis came to power in Germany, a social economic
      collapse that allow the political elite to much power and the media sanctioning demands
      that citizens be made to conform for the betterment of society, the economy, and you’d
      better be kiwi enough!

      Okay mayeb a bit extreme, but nobody has the right to dictate to anyone just because they
      get a top up to their income from government, and the top up is at the lower end of the
      scale. Government give bonuses all the time to state workers, to keep up with inflation,
      to keep up with the standard of living, so how is it suddenly wrong to give top ups to
      the sick, invalid, old, and under or unemployed?? Its the social engineering of the
      welfare system thats so costly, throwing good well spent money to life people
      out of poverty and wasting more money running them schemes to run them around the
      block a few times.

    • bbfloyd 9.2

      Jeremy.. if you don’t mind me asking… how much of her problems are centered around her job? i ask this because i know a couple of people who have gone on acc because of work related stresses.. would your friend be eligible for acc perhaps?

      • Jeremy Harris 9.2.1

        It relates to events in her childhood mainly… I’m sure you can guess what they might be… I believe ACC is paying part of her therapy…

      • burt 9.2.2

        What part did ACC take in her previous treatment to make it responsible for funding her recovery now?

  10. Lindsay 10

    The current work requirement on the DPB for parents with a youngest child 6 or older is only 15 hours per week. Two full-time days or five three hour shifts.

    Iprent, Treasury did not recommend putting all sickness and invalid beneficiaries on the dole. Just those who are assessed as having some work capacity. 10-12 percent already do some work. The medical fraternity are arriving at a consensus that work is actually good for people and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians believe that around two thirds of people who have “work-related ill health” have mild and treatable conditions.

    Labour was very successful at getting the unemployment benefit numbers down. What Treasury is asking for is more focus to be put on applying the same strategies to other benefits. While the media focussed on the sickness and invalid benefits Treasury identified the DPB as having the greatest opportunity for reform. I’d recommend reading the report.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Unemployment went down due to there being jobs available, not by putting more people on the unemployment benefit when there’s no jobs available.

      • ZeeBop 10.1.1

        Unemployed were also placed in work by grants to businesses under Labour.

        Government because government needs to be seen doing something is bad.

        Everyone has a right to work, and a right to respect, not a right to be forced
        to work and be disrespected because growing numbers of ill are a huge cost
        and a social injustice to those already marginalized.

        A Doctors has duty to their patient’s care, if a person is ill then any work
        planning (or later part time work) must be consider part of their medical
        rehabitation if it is likely to impact on their health. So any change that does
        not involve the Doctor’s input would likely to cause further injustice.

        So there is probably a huge hole in National changes if it hasn’t consulted
        with Doctors on any decision that might impact on the health of the individual.

        That’s the hole in the system, how do you get a neurotic to take their meds
        so they can ‘work’ for a few hours. How do you stop the Whale from
        starting a new campaign about the injustice of his new emplorers policies
        that hide information from the public!

        National saw that Labour had done a good job helping people into work
        and it wants to be see doing something, its just another pathetic shortsighted
        and disconenct PR campaign to touch hearts and wallets but the reality on
        the ground will be a best a whimper, at worse increased suicides, violence
        and suffering. Its comes from being geniuses, geniuses that don’t need to
        engage the poor, the sick, the elderly, those effected, provide choice, or any
        of the millions years of consultantion that makes us civilized. All because
        National have discovered urgency, and conceited governance.

    • bbfloyd 10.2

      Lindsay… “only 15 hours per week”, good luck finding one… when i was trying to get a band up and running, i tried to get part time work to make up my living costs while we weren’t earning.. was reduced to applying for paper runs, and got aced out by kids.

    • Colonial Viper 10.3

      Where are the decent paying jobs NAT promised our 170,000 unemployed? Aren’t we supposed to be closing the gap with Australia? Did they NAT mean in *our* lifetime?

    • Vicky32 10.4

      Lindsay, do you have the slightest idea how hard it is to find a job, much less one for 15 hours a week?
      As for the assessment, it’s bullshit – I read in the news about a man who was rendered quadriplegic by an accident when he was a crane driver. His ACC was stopped because he “could” (in theory) be a telemarketer. Never mind that he had never done sales in his life, and that he needed a carer to feed and toilet him, and that no workplace wanted the responsibility of caring for him!
      The DPB doesn’t need reform – the original intention of the DPB was to enable mothers (and fathers) to be able to care for their children without creating latch-key kids. Why have we forgotten that? It’s all about the children, not about monetarism!

  11. infused 11

    If you’re not prepared to have kids, you’re problem.

    “Whether those mums will be able to afford childcare or just get sent to prison for child neglect is unclear”

    Cry me a river. Also, 5 days is plenty. If you’re sick more than 5 days a year, you should really go to the gym and start eating healthy.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      “If you’re sick more than 5 days a year, you should really go to the gym and start eating healthy.”
      Sorry, but you’re a complete idiot, infused. Illness is not a moral failing, and has nothing to do with ‘lifestyle’ necessarily.

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