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


Concentrate on job creation, not 'fixing' welfare

2 November 2011

Concentrate on job creation, not 'fixing' welfare - The Mission

The welfare system isn't broken and it is working as intended. Government focus should instead be on the other half of the equation: job creation, says Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black.

People on benefits deserve and need our support - they are bearing the brunt of the international and domestic economic crisis that has been unfolding since 2008.

The Mission therefore welcomes the Government's promise of a long-term investment approach to getting people into work. As far as it goes.

New policies - wrong focus

Unfortunately, a lot of the recently released policy appears to be window dressing and focussed on the wrong thing. Sickness beneficiaries already have to regularly justify their work readiness. Job seekers already face high expectations for finding and securing work. Most solo parents only access DPB assistance for 6 months or so: there is little evidence of solo parents hanging around on a benefit.

What is new; the reorganisation of the welfare system with its re-categorisation of benefits and eligibilities; will cause great stress to those now, legitimately, receiving assistance. The greatest number of those on sickness benefits are suffering from anxiety and depression - two well-known consequences of long-term poverty - the risk of this 'new' approach is that it will simply worsen the symptoms experienced by many of those supposedly being targeted for 'extra help'.

As for those who are on the DPB and have another child - this is a vanishingly small proportion of those on benefits.

Job creation

More than 65,000 people have been added to the numbers of beneficiaries since the last election.

We know this increase relates not to 'dependency', or laziness, or 'bludging': Although some new jobs have been created in that time, nearly 40,000 school leavers are added to the ranks of job seekers each year. The numbers of jobs being advertised is up, but it seems that this due to those in work seeking pay increases by swapping jobs. It is not because there are vacancies going begging.

Simply put: job creation in New Zealand has not kept pace with the annual increase in the workforce, and it has not recaptured those jobs lost to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Job creation comes from business growth. New Zealand needs high-wage business growth in order to reduce the numbers of those on benefits.

Economic growth precarious

While the Prime Minister assures the country that the Government has a plan for stimulating the economy, so far the details remain unannounced.

Commentators and Treasury are suggesting that the Budget Day forecasts for economic growth are now precarious, and newspapers report that business is uncertain as to the Government's plans for investment in growth.

According to Statistics New Zealand, nearly half of all New Zealanders are struggling financially, we are known as a low-wage economy, and our brightest and best young people are migrating overseas just as fast as the planes can fly.

The Mission's response to the Government's announcement of Welfare Reform, then, is this: where are the Government's plans for business growth?


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report into the 2010 Operation Burnham military raid in Afghanistan has been a model of decorum. Bad stuff did happen and has been duly noted and lamented - but only as a lapse and departure from usual professional standards. Normal service can be trusted to resume shortly... More>>


Office Of The Speaker: Parliament Is Revamping Its Rules

Today, the Standing Orders Committee’s report on the review of Standing Orders was presented to the House. The Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, chairs the committee. He said today that the 2020 review will make our rules more ... More>>

Environment: Govt Progress On Climate Change Essential, Risk Assessment Shows

The release of the National Climate Change Risk Assessment shows that the progress this Government has made to solve the climate crisis is essential to creating cleaner and safer communities across New Zealand. “Because of this report, we can see clearer ... More>>

Economy: Investing In The Tourism Sector’s Recovery

More than $300 million in funding has been approved to protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. A $400 million ... More>>


National On MP Bill: Waka-Jumping Repeal Bill Passes First Reading

The Electoral (Integrity Repeal) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading, marking one step closer to Parliament getting rid of NZ First’s ‘waka-jumping’ legislation, National List MP David Carter says. “I’d like to thank the Greens for voting ... More>>


Covid-19:Legislation For Managed Isolation Payments Introduced

Hon Dr Megan Woods Minister of Housing Legislation to allow the Government to recover some of the costs for managed isolation and quarantine will be introduced to Parliament today, said Minister of Housing Megan Woods. “The Bill will allow the government ... More>>


Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>


Energy: 100% Renewable Electricity Grid Explored With Pumped Storage ‘battery’

The Government is taking a significant step toward its goal for 100% renewable electricity generation in a move that could be a game changer for consumers and the creation of a low-emissions economy, Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods said. ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels