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Working for benefit

January 30th, 2007 at 08:56 am

My third post of the day, but I had to comment on this. John Key, the new leader of the National (conservative) Party, has just made a speech in which he declares his party will make people on welfare work for their dole. He says he doesn't intend to dismantle the welfare system, but it is being interpreted as a "get tough on the bludgers" speech.

My reaction? If they're creating schemes to help unemployed, disabled, single moms etc back into work, great, I'm all for it. But if there's work out there, shouldn't people be paid at least the minimum wage for it? Most beneficiaries I know want real work for real wages, not time filling schemes for a pittance. Yes, it should be more worthwhile to work than be on welfare, but why is the answer always cut the benefit? Does anyone ever ask why people who work 40 hours a week are still unable to properly feed and house their families? Could it be that wages are too low? We have had the Employers Federation recently declaring that an increase in the minimum wage will put more people out of work, but it seems they're also not prepared to pay more taxes to help the unemployed. The National Party wants to cut the higher tax brackets; if they're really interested in helping the working poor, why don't they cut the lower ones? Mr Key makes a big play of the fact he was brought up by a single mom in a State House, and now is wealthy. I'm afraid he strikes me as one of those selfmade men who despise other poor people and is ungrateful for the help he recieved along the way. He seems to think his childhood would have been a bowl of cherries if his mom had been forced to work. As the child of a workaholic single father, I can assure him it wouldn't. Is his party going to help all these newly working parents by providing affordable, quality childcare?

It seems to me he is just having a go at the same old easy target, and proposing simplistic solutions to very complex problems. He also went on about that other old whipping horse of politicians: crime. No parole for violent criminals. Well, all I can comment is: at least they won't be on welfare will they? They'll be enjoying 3 square meals a day and it'll cost the country umpteen times as much to keep them locked up.

2 Responses to “Working for benefit”

  1. Amanda Says:

    I obviously don't knowthe entireextentof New Zealand and it's umemployment/welfare, but you had some very valid points.

    I'm a single mom, barely scrapping by, yet I refuse the help of the "system". At my second job, I work with a girl who is proud to be "a single mom of two on welfare". We're servers, so she's making a lot more than she's claiming in taxes, living with her parents and charging up the gov't for everything else.

    She has a brandnew car, bragged that she spent $1000 of dollars on her girls for Christmas ... and then has the balls to ask me what I'm getting my daughter for Christmas.

    Believe me, if we could figure out why the moms and dads who need the money couldn't get it, but the ones who are obviously abusing the system are ...I think both of our countries would be in a better spot.

  2. laceshawl Says:

    I feel for you. It is hard when you do all the right things and get penalised for it, while you see people ripping the system off. I agree it would be great if we could get the cheats out while helping the truly struggling. I suspect tho, that the cheats he is referring to are the kind that no employer in his right mind would give a job too, and if their benefits were cut off, they would just take to crime.

    What really annoys me is that New Zealand used to have very low unemployment rates, but since changes introduced by different govts, we have seen endless layoffs and companies departing overseas. I get frustrated by politicians who take no responsibilty for what their policies have caused, just blame it all on the unemployed. In many cases it is a case of blaming the victim.

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