Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What about that Welfare Working Group, then?

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  • Goodoh,

    Why is this government focusing on those on welfare? What about the failing export sector? The exodus of our young and talented, our deficit, our S and P rating? Welfare reform and tax cuts? pathetic and won't stop us sliding into Ireland and Greece territory.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I must say it's an extraordinary coincidence how unscrupulous citizens are so much more tempted to forgo a job for a benefit when the economy is bad.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    From an old tweet: National Super - 65% of primary benefit spend. Unemployment: 5% Bashing the unemployed is worthless but popular (source).

    That's the primary benefit, of course. But that's the fundamental reality: fucing over the unemployed and single parents will save us next-to-nothing in the big picture. It will further entrench the underclass that was grown in the 90s by the market fundamentalists of Ruthenasia. If we were serious about ending "welfare dependency" or reducing the spend on benefits, we'd do something about where two-thirds of the money goes. We aren't. We're interested in kicking the shit out people we've decided to hate, many of whom are victims of structural unemployment we've created to keep wages down for the benefit of the 3% of the country who own 50% of it's wealth.

    I've always favoured a Universal Basic Income.

    We have one if you're over 65.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    How long before we see a return to ads such as this one, which basically greeted me in the country when I first arrived?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to rodgerd,

    There's that very instructive pie chart from Danyl, which certainly puts unemployment benefit spending in context: it's absolutely dwarfed by Superannuation, Working for Families and a lot of other stuff, including the "landlord subsidy", the Accomodation Supplement.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3895 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I find that wording rather chilling.

    At least they're honest about thinking that reproduction is a privilege conferred by wealth. Creepy and disturbing, yes, but honest.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    How would it be enforced without raising the spectre of human furnaces?

    I hope for their sake the WWG people have access to a good supply of barbed wire and SAS veterans to cover their arses. Among their ranks are a former ACT yes-woman and an Elders of Mecca conspiracy theorist.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And to add, this will likely stoke fear of unemployment in those already in work but antsing about whether they'll still be working next week. And increased fear of unemployment, well, 1984 British miners' dispute or French bossnapping, anyone?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    OT: The Irish are starting to think outside the square. They've woken up to the SftR&CftP agenda and they're pissed off.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    How would it be enforced without raising the spectre of human furnaces?

    I don't think it could be - taking away or cutting benefits if people get pregnant is simply not going to fly as policy. But it's a nice illustration of the group's real priorities.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Sue Bradford has been one of those behind the Alternative Welfare Group that I mentioned earlier. She has a good Pundit piece about the latest report.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Never mind cutting welfare. Imagine the savings if we got rid of all these useless ideologically-driven working groups and taskforces.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    long-term benefit dependency for the able-bodied is very destructive at every level: it destroys initiative and drive ... [insert bog-standard right wing rant here]

    And what about the costs of not providing benefits?

    And isn't there structural unemployment in NZ anyway?

    Where are all the jobs these feckless benefit recipients are supposed to be taking up? Oh, what's that, there are none? Not at or above the current minimum wage, anyway.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Giovanni: 104 Fraud Catchers to catch $64 million.
    The Fraud Office has only a handful of staff to catch the white collared crime worth $100s of millions. Wonder why?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    And isn't there structural unemployment in NZ anyway?

    This is the bit that gets up my nose. English has been on Morning Report saying that there will always be unemployment to a certain level, and it's better for his vision of how the economy needs to run. If it makes the people he cares about richer, they can fucking man up and pay for the "collateral damage" of those polices.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Structural unemployment also favours pockets of chronic and inter-generational joblessness in the communities failed by the education system and the economy. But that's precisely the genius of the system: if you know how to blame those victims you get to profit from them twice.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I don't think the Ireland thing is at all OT.

    Maybe Ireland is the place where people will realise they have a choice and can take the money back from the rich, who stole it, rather than letting the rich screw them over once more.

    After all, they fought for hundreds of years to get rid of British rule. Maybe they'll fight again and get rid of capitalist rule.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    "I don't think it could be - taking away or cutting benefits if people get pregnant is simply not going to fly as policy. But it's a nice illustration of the group's real priorities."

    And with workplace pregnancy discrimination still prevalent, we know where that's headed.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Typical New Right soundbytery. I'd like to see them get this off the ground with tactical voting likely in Epsom to surgically excise the carcinoma of ACT from the body politic next year, Despite Tariana's openness to the concept, I think there'll be some problems within the Maori Party if National pushes ahead with this stealth, incrementalist erosion of social citizenship en route to the sort of dysfunctional welfare privatisation that exists in the United States,,,,

    How much did this little piece of conservative ideological purity cost the rest of us, BTW?

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red, in reply to Craig Young,

    How much did this little piece of conservative ideological purity cost the rest of us, BTW?

    I could have cut-and-paste it from Kiwiblog, and reformatted, in about 8 hours.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to dc_red,

    Where are all the jobs these feckless benefit recipients are supposed to be taking up? Oh, what's that, there are none? Not at or above the current minimum wage, anyway.

    And another peice of the broader agenda in that last sentence, perhaps?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thanks for the Pundit link, Hilary. The Herald's summary of the report by Simon Collins sits alongside a poll asking:

    When should solo parents on benefits be required to return to work?

    * When youngest leaves home
    * When youngest is at secondary school
    * When youngest turns six
    * When youngest turns three
    * When youngest turns one

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I'm very demoralised about this.

    The Welfare Working Group has kicked off with a massive and obvious LIE (not to mention extremely self-serving terms of reference), yet the country, in very large part, seems not to even notice.

    If I was pushing this agenda, I'd be saying,
    "My God! What won't they swallow?".


    P.S. Anyone care to start a Wikipedia Entry?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I loved how there was no option for "never", or "when the children don't need their parents at home any more".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    The poll did seem to honour the spirit of the working group, yes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

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