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Libertarianz Say: 'Roll Back the Welfare State'

Libertarianz Say: 'Roll Back the Welfare State'

The Liberarianz spokesman on welfare Sally O'Brien announced her party's policy on state welfare today. "We're going to end it," said O'Brien, simply. "We're going to abolish state welfare altogether and give you your money back so you can support whom you choose, how you choose."

Coupled with her policy announcement, she confirmed details of a radical sell-off of state assets in order to fund a transitional programme to support some existing beneficiaries, and she gave her arguments why her radical programme is necessary.

"We need - as a matter of urgency - to remove the welfare millstone from around our necks," she said. "More importantly, we need to rid ourselves of the notion that stealing from one person to help another is moral. The concept of a state-enforced welfare system rests on the premise that if a person can demonstrate a need, then society - his neighbours - must be plundered to fulfil that need. Libertarianz reject the ideology of the welfare state in its totality," she confirmed.

Libertarianz Welfare Policy: Ever since the premise of state-enforced welfare has been instituted around the world the kinds of needs to be met by the state - and the numbers of people who can 'demonstrate' those needs - has mushroomed.

We now see great numbers of able minded and able-bodied people in a miserably dependent state while they suck their lifeblood from their fellow countrymen. We see communities of people whose natural benevolence has been destroyed through finding the state's hand constantly in their pocket. Such is the effect of an all-pervasive and bankrupt morality, where demonstrating a need can be more easily rewarded than demonstrating an ability, and where eventually a person's need becomes more important than a person's ability.

Many years ago humanity rejected cannibalism as inhuman. It is time that state welfare be recognised as moral cannibalism, and reviled as such.

Only the Libertarianz Party rejects absolutely the ethical root on which state-enforced social welfare feeds. Only such a fundamental rethink by New Zealanders will make significant inroads into unnecessary dependency. Most of us realise that if we fall on hard times, our family, friends and colleagues can choose whether and in what way they would like to help. It is the task of Libertarianz to remind New Zealanders that what is clearly right within individual personal relationships is even truer on a wider scale.

So how do we get from here to there? Concentrate initially on diminishing the full menu of state social welfare agencies, state-assisted social welfare agencies and state-mandated social welfare agencies. This can be effected by either straight-out abolition, or by transforming these agencies to a stand alone, deregulated, privately funding basis.

Substantially less funding will be forthcoming from government, but some will be able to compete as charitable institutions or offer insurance cover on an equal basis with existing and new private organisations. Assistance into work training schemes for example could continue with voluntary philanthropic funding only - no doubt the politicians who support these ideas and their party members will be the first to put their hands in their own pockets.


POLICY PRIORITIES
· When voting on, or introducing legislation, Libertarianz - as a parliamentary minority - will always work towards shrinking the social security functions of government, consistent with suitable alternative frameworks being in place.

· A Libertarianz majority would have the following priorities for social welfare deregulation in its first one hundred days:

- Our senior citizens who are in and approaching retirement have, on the whole, paid the most taxes for the longest time and would have the greatest difficulty adjusting. Priority will be given to ensuring income for current senior citizens - and those currently fifty five and over - by providing annuities with funds boosted from the sale of state assets. Beyond that there will be no further state funded or state enforced retirement schemes. New Zealanders will have complete free personal choice over the plans they wish to make for their retirement.

- Priority will be given to providing for existing seriously disabled people by the same means, and for the transitional period only.

- All low income working people who are currently receiving income support and supplements will immediately have that support replaced by the substantial tax cuts that all New Zealanders will receive including the first $15,ooo income being tax free.

- All non-working, but able, beneficiaries will immediately benefit from the growth in opportunities to work that is to be expected with reduced taxation and a deregulated business environment. The unemployment benefit will very quickly be axed.

- Existing solo parents will - in the transition period - receive annuities to support them until their child's third birthday. Child maintenance payments from an absent parent will be pursued, but only where it can be justified under a legal burden of proof. State funded DPB will be axed. Private adoption and fostering agencies will be encouraged. People who want to adopt children may be able to pay the birth parents. This would have the effect of paying people who can't cope, or don't really care for their children, to give them up rather than paying them to keep them and have more as the current system does.

- The child safety, severe neglect and youth crime management functions of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Agency will be transferred to proper management under the justice and police system. All other functions can be transferred to private agencies.

- Virtually everyone admits they want to help people who are going through undeservedly distressed times. Libertarianz policies put their money back in their pockets so that they may do so, for whatever circumstances and by whatever means they prefer. I therefore expect that existing private welfare organisations will grow - such as Women's Refuge, Presbyterian Support Services and The Salvation Army - and new agencies will evolve, much as they did in the days before the state abrogated the role. Neighbours will help neighbours, but because they want to, not because they are being forced.

(Please see www.freeradical.co.nz/lotsofmaths/ for relevant budget details, and for details of the proposed transitional welfare programme.)

"It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!"
ENDS
For further information please contact: Sally O'Brien LIBERTARIANZ SPOKESMAN TO DEREGULATE WELFARE (09) 368 1466, sally.deb@xtra.co.nz www.libertarianz.org.nz www.libz.org

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