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Brash On Track - Starving Will Soon Find Jobs

Brash On track - Starving Will Soon Find Jobs

Reformation Testimony Org.


Social Welfare should be Family first and State not at all Don Brash has come out strongly for “personal responsibility” in his 2005 Orewa speech on social welfare. He claimed that those receiving the DPB were “ripping off the system” and had become a “career option” for some, although he said solo parents often did a great job. Brash is quite correct when he asserts: "We are developing a culture where, when people leave a relationship, too many take it for granted that the first port of call is not their own savings or their family but the Winz office." With 109,021 women on the DPB, the cost to the country is an exorbitant $1.568 billion; more even than the cost of the unemployment benefit. Typically leftist and Green Sue Bradford sees Brash’s comments as an attack on the poor, but are they?

Brash’s policy initiatives are quite straightforward.

Cut numbers on benefits from 300,000 to 200,000 within a decade. Enable a three month trial for unemployed placed in new jobs. Strengthen medical assessments for invalid and sickness beneficiaries. Make unemployment contingent on the willingness to participate in retraining, enter some community work or a government job scheme.

Test for literacy and numeracy skills and then teach the unemployed the skills they lack. Those who receive the DPB must take part-time work when their youngest child begins to attend school and take a full-time job when the youngest has reached 14. Ensure that the offspring of beneficiaries receive dental checks and receive immunisation unless the beneficiary refuses for reasons of conscience.

Impose a financial penalty on the 32,000 DPB beneficiaries who refuse to name their child’s father. Brash argues concerning the DPB: “If the state provides, with few questions asked, a benefit to those who leave a relationship, more people will leave relationships and rely on the state for support, and the more generous the benefit the more willing people will be to take that option”.

Few can argue that this is a good thing and that welfare dependency is beneficial to society, but what Brash or the Labour government have in common is the unwillingness to take the necessary and really hard decisions.

With billions of dollars being sucked out of taxpayers’ pockets to fund a lifestyle of no work and all play, New Zealand society is paying the price. Welfare dependency breeds crime, a defeatist attitude and a mindset which thinks that the taxpayers owe the lazy a living. A biblical approach to welfare would not pay “personal responsibility” lip service only, but would enforce the need to exercise that responsibility by refusing to fund anyone who was not prepared to begin any job on offer. If the beneficiary did not get a job, because of a bad attitude or slovenly dress; or if they started a job and proved to be unreliable; then the individual should be refused any state-funded benefit.

Once starvation began to set in, the beneficiary would have to find work to support himself and his family. The Bible says of the unemployed “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2Th. 3:10). An objection is raised to this eminently sensible approach. What if a man is irresponsible and is a serial welfare beneficiary and then has his dole cut off; who will feed his innocent wife and children? Stated in another form, it is reasoned that children will suffer if a mother on the DPB is later refused a benefit. The fallacy of this argument is that it assumes that the state is the only institution who can support the poor and disadvantaged through welfare.

Not only is it not the state’s responsibility or duty to hand out taxpayer’s money on social welfare, there are other institutions in society God has created for that very purpose and these agencies are being bypassed. The first port of call is the family. Therefore if a person was refused a benefit by the state, the individual can go to his or her family and receive support from them.

Another agency is the church, which can also get involved with the poor and help them out if they show signs of being responsible. In the case of Maori (40% on the DPB are Maori), they have an extended family and tribe to call on to assist. Should the state have any involvement in social welfare? No, none at all! It is about time we returned to the habits of our forbears and truly took personal responsibility, and not the half measures of Dr Brash, or the socialism of Helen’s nanny-state. But then pragmatism always wins over principle does it not!


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