20 July 2000
Social Services Spokesperson
The Labour Government’s proposal for creating one category of Benefits and merging the benefit system is doomed to failure and implementation disaster,” says Christian Heritage Party Social Services spokesperson, Rosemarie Thomas.
“Not only will the merging of benefit categories hide the individual needs and circumstances of people applying for the benefit, it will also prevent transparency and the ability to target specific groups such as temporarily unemployed, and invalids’ benefits.
“Although the administration costs maybe less and simplified after the new system is set up, the transition costs and physical changes in location, staff, organisation and informing the public are bound to outweigh the benefits of such changes. A more suitable alternative would be to incrementally change the current system. It is a shame that New Zealand governments have not yet realised the drastic mistakes that can be made when trying to implement large and radical changes to complex systems, such as the former Social Welfare Department.
“These changes are radical and large scale and it would be too difficult to predict the complex outcomes of unintended consequences of such changes. We must remember that the current system is based on the same type of radical changes purposed by past well-meaning Governments, but it has not turned out as well as expected, not surprisingly!
“The Christian Heritage Party advocates smaller carefully planned changes to make social service provision more efficient, less complex for consumers and still cost-effective for the government.” Rosemarie Thomas concluded.
Contact: Rosemarie Thomas can be contact on either 04 939 8466 or 025 846 625
Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766