Tuesday, February 09, 2010

PM admits welfare rolls are out of control

Media Release

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In his statement to parliament Prime Minister John Key today said that New Zealand needs to bring welfare rolls "back under control".

"Mr Key's assessment of the situation is correct but his prescription for bringing the rolls back under control is not," said Lindsay Mitchell, welfare commentator.

"Work-testing the DPB when the youngest child is six will simply encourage some people to ensure their youngest child is never older than six. In other words they will add children to their benefit. It is already the case that around 5,000 babies are added to existing benefits every year. At the very least a cap on the number of children needs to be applied."

"He talked about stricter criteria and testing for those on the sickness and invalid benefits yet mentioned nothing about, for instance, compulsory treatment for drug and alcohol addicts. He said the reforms would 'squarely focus on helping people get back to work as soon as possible'. But Labour had already implemented extensive reforms aimed at achieving exactly this and made no impression on the numbers, which continue to grow. Last year, under the new National government, the number on the sickness benefit grew by 16 percent, the biggest growth in any year ever."

"But the main problem with Mr Key's prescription is that beneficiaries, and potential beneficiaries, have heard it all before. Welfare is business as usual. Any government serious about reducing dependence would be spelling out time limits, and strict conditions of receipt which would manifestly change expectations. He has missed the opportunity again."


Manolo said...

Key is useless, plain useless.
I despair at NZ's bleak future when we have such an ineffective PM.

Anonymous said...

Everything changes, and everything remains the same.

Its called politics.


Sinner said...

Any government serious about reducing dependence would be spelling out time limits, and strict conditions of receipt which would manifestly change expectations

Nope. They'd simply stop them. Look at Clinton's great "benefit cuts" - first Bush now Obama put them all back in again.

Remove all benefits - including welfare and education. Change the franchise so that the unproductive cannot change everything back.

Sinner said...

And what's most depressing is that Key could have done all that: gone to a snap election if necessary - and he would have been back with an increased majority

It's just so fucking pathetic and depressing

Lindsay said...

Bush didn't undo Clinton's reforms.

dave said...

And Clinton's reforms were a policy nightmare that could not be implemented.

Lindsay said...

Dave, How so?

Anonymous said...

The compulsary treatment for alcoholics would be abstinence. The compulsary treatment for drug addicts would be to give them a substitute drug. The alcoholics might eventually become productive through treatment. In my experience of drug addicts, even when they receive their drugs gratis, they have little motivation or encouragement to better themselves.

brian_smaller said...

Come on John Key. You know the welfare rolls are out of control. DO SOMETHING.
1. No extra benefit for extra children while on welfare.
2. Lifetime limit on welfare of all types.
That is just for starters.

But in a country where 10% of taxpayers pay 76% of income tax the bludgers control who get elected. We are stuffed.