The NZ Business Roundtable today published a paper I penned as part of their Te Oranga o te Iwi Maori project. The media attention has been high and I have gone from one interview to the next and then the official launch. On Breakfast TV tomorrow 6:50.
I will link to the paper when it is on-line. Here's the release.
Report calls for major welfare shake-up
A report has been released which recommends the Domestic Purposes Benefit be scrapped and replaced by a shorter-term support package.
Researcher Lindsay Mitchell has made the recommendation in her study of welfare policy and social problems among Maori, which was commissioned by the Business Roundtable.
Citing the high rates of Maori women receiving the DPB, she says steps should be taken to discourage them from getting pregnant in the first place.
Ms Mitchell says to that end, the DPB should be abolished and the Government should only provide support for one year. She says beyond that period financial support should be provided by the child's mother, father and extended family.
The report also recommends looking at the introduction of contributory unemployment insurance for workers and a restriction on current universal welfare entitlements.
It advises tighter eligibility criteria for sickness and invalid benefits and suggests panels of doctors be used to approve applications as opposed to individual practitioners.
Mrs Mitchell believes steps will have to be taken by the Government at some stage - not because it wants to, but because it has to. She says there is a lot of public concern about welfare dependency becoming a lifestyle among both Maori and Pakeha.
Mrs Mitchell says the state should provide welfare support only as a last resort safety net.
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