Thursday, February 11, 2010

A different welfare reform idea

Here's a different idea. Canada has also been ahead of the game when it comes to welfare reform. In British Columbia however, time-limits failed due to massive opposition from a variety of quarters.

According to this 2008 article however another measure aided a reduction of rolls by 30 percent.

The government's target of a 30 per cent reduction in the welfare budget and caseloads was achieved through other methods, particularly the new rule that required two years of financial independence in order to be eligible for welfare, and a new required wait of three weeks before a person could apply for benefits.

Requiring two year's prior financial independence would certainly close the door on thousands of young incomers who subsequently can't get off welfare.

It is an idea that might be politically feasible here. And if ideas aren't politically feasible, unfortunately, no matter their merits, they are dead in the water.


Anonymous said...

And if ideas aren't politically feasible, unfortunately, no matter their merits, they are dead in the water.

If ideas aren't political feasible - change the political system.

Needs to be more than just MMP vs FPP.

* have the productivity commission veto spending bills and party registrations
* restrict the franchise to those earning over 100K or with more than 1M assets
* enforce the pre-1980 convention that civil servants, teachers etc didn't vote
* introduce representation for taxpaying corporates
* have only one vote per household

Note that these reforms do nothing more than take the political system in NZ back to

Lucy said...


StephenR said...

Requiring two year's prior financial independence

What is the value of that? Why doesn't 'need' a matter here?

Lindsay said...

Stephen, I imagine the thinking is to prevent teenagers (or older) failing to develop some sort of work habit. During a recession this may be a problem but at other times it shouldn't and welfare rules should be designed for typical not unusual circumstances. Other measures can (and have been) temporarily introduced during a recession.
Two years is probably a good length of time to ensure that a benefit is not going to thereafter be a viable or attractive alternative.

'Need'? Well how does a young person go from no need one day to need the next? Because they leave home with no means of support? Because they have a baby with no means of support? It is easier for a young person to avoid getting into a situation of need than an older person who has long since fled the nest so to speak.

When social security was designed by Labour in 1938, in order to qualify for benefits people had to have paid their social security tax (eventually abolished in the 1960s). There were such things as emergency benefits but the granting of them was discretionary.

Joe said...

Why don't you mention the fact that working is not worth their time for most young people? Pay rates are so low, work conditions are crap, job contracts are a joke these days. I worked for years in one of these jobs, it gave me depression and I ended up on a benefit!
25 cents for min wage, plus an increase on GST. Getting into the housing market is impossible for most people. Meanwhile the baby-boomers are sitting sweet, with the easy ride they had. Beneficiaries should take everything they can get, cause working is not a fair option. I'm studying at the moment, my student loan will cripple me for life, as soon as I graduate I'm leaving the country, will be taking my skills with me. Why would I want to live here and have my taxes pay for baby boomers retirement (who got paid to attend uni), they are the generation who's chosen to put e into a life of debt. Or I could have continued earning $13.50 per hour? Loose, loose for young people, its not dependency, its the better of two shit options.