Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

United Future Supports 'Ambulances For Africa'


United Future Supports 'Ambulances For Africa'

So United Future's Gordon Copeland is upset that critics are describing their Commission for the Family as some sort of wishy- washy feel-good policy. If it's any consolation Gordon, I'm upset too, but for different reasons.

In his column, "The crucial importance of the family in the New Zealand economy", he bemoans the $1.5 billion cost of the DPB. He forgot about the accommodation supplement, family benefit and special benefit which many recipients also receive but I'll forgive that.

What I find harder to swallow is that United's first action, on agreeing to support the government, was to vote for MORE welfare. Treasury warned that if the DPB was not worktested, numbers would grow by 1,000 every year for the next three years but United ignored that. Numbers had dropped since the introduction of worktesting but United ignored that. Their own leader had voted against the bill before the election but the party ignored that.

United Future unnervingly jumped very quickly into bed with the leftist egalitarians who cry 'worktesting is punitive'. I am sure we all find work punishing on a bad day but we do it because somebody has to pay for the 400,000-odd working-age people who don't.

In fleshing out a grim picture of hardship, Mr Copeland refers to the New Zealand Living Standards 2000 report. But he makes no mention of the finding that people in work had better standards of living than those on benefits, even when their incomes were about the same. An earlier report, "Children in poor families: Does the source of family income change the picture?" found; "...there is considerable variation in the living standards of those below the poverty threshold, and (the results) suggest that poor children in families with government transfers as the main income source are a particularly vulnerable group."

Clearly a job is better than a benefit, especially where children are concerned. But Mr Copeland goes on to tell us that they support the government's approach to family breakdown which is to place ambulances at the bottom of the cliff by way of benefits and like payments. Does Mr Copeland seriously believe, hand on heart, that all benefits are ambulances? I wonder if he ever entertains a sneaking suspicion that they might be cop-outs or incentives, or even rewards for the irresponsible. Perhaps hush money for those in the too-hard basket.

If benefits were truly ambulances then they would be temporary for the able-bodied. People ride in ambulances to hospitals and surprise, surprise, they get out of them.

In an attempt to convince us that we need a Commission for the Family to "explore, advise and initiate programmes and policies aimed at strengthening marriage, relationships and parenting for the benefit of all New Zealand families," he adds that similar policies have shown early promise in Singapore and the US. Hello?

Singapore does not have a welfare state and since 1996 the US has treated welfare as strictly temporary. To say that those policies will work in the New Zealand environment is, to borrow Gordon's analogy, like to trying to win the America's Cup in a waka.

It is United's 'hope and dream' that their commission will reduce the number of ambulances at the bottom of the cliff and then state spending can be reduced and taxes lowered. Yet Mr Copeland admits that twenty five years of putting ambulances at the bottom of the cliff has only led to .....more and more ambulances being put at the bottom of the cliff. Good Lord, the congestion at the bottom of the cliff rivals an Auckland motorway.

How many more years will it take for people to wake up and realise that government social spending programmes don't work? What if, instead of taking the $10 million cost for the commission off the employer who is desperate to take on more staff but can't afford to, we simply left it in his pocket?

Jobs must come first.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election