Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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'.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

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?

ENDS

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.