Friday, May 01, 2009

What's left of the welfare state

Chris Trotter writes in today's DomPost that Mr Key and his right wing mates are showing signs that they are about to get rid of "what's left of the welfare state".

This implies most of what constitutes the welfare state has already been dismantled.

All that remains are the unemployment, sickness, invalid and domestic purposes benefits; the independent youth, emergency, and unsupported child benefits; super and veteran's pensions; accommodation supplement and state housing; the minimum wage; Working For Families; residential care subsidies; childcare subsidies; Paid Parental Leave; student allowances; interest free student loans; 'free' public hospitals and public schools; various family and child tax credits; universal no-fault accident compensation; widow's benefit; orphan's benefit; free dental care for the young; free healthcare for under sixes; the Super GoldCard; the Community Services card; the methadone programme; legal aid; Restart and Replace; 9 day working fortnight subsidies; subsidies to hundreds of 'charities'...

No. There's not much to remember. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, there is a case to include corporate welfare, and grants to the arts and sports as part of the broadest-sense welfare state.

I wonder what Trotter thinks has been dispensed with? The family benefit, which had deteriorated in value to almost nothing by the time National threw it out? Farming subsidies? I tell you what. It's a helluva sight harder trying to identify what went than what stayed.

7 comments:

libertyscott said...

Oh he's a scaremongering prick. Let's put it this way, I'd be signing up for the National Party in a second if this were true.

He once wrote how he missed the Soviet Union, which is unspeakably vile - 30 million slaughtered between 1917 and 1991 by that system, but hey it made pricks in the free world who hate the free world feel "idealistic".

Anonymous said...

I may have mis-heard this completely, and if so I stand corrected, but I thought I heard Paula Bennett on radio this morning as I was waking up saying that the social welfare bill is costing the GOVT 16.1 billion a year. Perhaps she said 6.1 bill, but that's still 120 million a week or so and a lot of money to be spending on this.

Lindsay said...

You heard right. 16.76 billion actual spending in 2007. The biggest govt expenditure item.

http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2008/58.htm#_toc6

Manolo said...

I believe the National Party will never take the necessary measures to reform the welfate state. They are too afraid of political backlash and lack principles.

Appeasement and go with the flow are Key's motto.

Anonymous said...

Sadly those on the left have to use deceit to keep any support for their views.

Bevanj said...

neither red or blue have the stomach to address this issue for the better of all. Would a 4 year term help boost courage?

bethyada said...

Excellent!