Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cheaper to leave them on the DPB

More groups have trooped before the social services select committee lambasting the government's Future Focus Bill. Again most of the focus is on the expectation that a single parent should work part-time to help support their children after the youngest turns 6.

Child Action Poverty Group researcher Donna Wynd further questioned the targeting of those who have spent many years on the benefit, saying it would be cheaper to leave them where they were.

Cheaper still not to have let them onto a benefit, and to stay there for many years.

She later clarified that she was referring to long-term beneficiaries who probably suffered from substance addiction and mental health problems, and who needed intensive - and expensive - wrap-around support.

"If you're not prepared to do that, you might as well leave them where they are because no one is going to give them a job, and if they do, they're not going to be able to keep it."

Ah, the soft bigotry of low expectations...

Ms Wynd had earlier told the social services select committee that the reforms "coerced" solo parents into work and had no regard for the 220,000 children living in beneficiary households.


Of all the motivations for reforming the DPB, improving the lot of children is the most important. Again this is CPAG at their most arrogant. Only they know how to improve children's lives and that is through bigger welfare incomes. Never mind that the DPB has deprived many of a resident father or exposed them to a string of poorly motivated substitutes. Never mind that the DPB has caused more poverty than it has cured.

She did not think work was a way out of poverty for those on welfare unless they could get stable well-paid jobs, but most could only find low-paid, often temporary jobs.


So if work isn't the answer then it must be more welfare. But if more welfare is given, more children will grow up on welfare and their expectations will be based on their environment and in 20 years time the advocates will still be calling for more welfare. More welfare is an ever-expanding downward spiral.

These statements remind me of the resistance and admonitions prior to the US reforms. Poverty would grow, crime would escalate, child abuse and neglect would worsen and homelessness would snowball.

Didn't happen. And in general single mothers are better off . Yes, some are struggling but the hard cases are not simply abandoned. Most importantly children are now learning that getting a job is what you do in life. End of story.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I listened to this on Radio NZ the other night as I was going home after a long busy day at work.
The quote didn't convey the stupid laugh she did at the same time.

BTW, love your blog Lindsay. I read it all the time.
Brian.

bez said...

Maybe, just maybe, it is time we move back to first principles of personal responsibility. Procreating is a personal choice. Like any personal choice the consequences should be personal as well. That also goes for almost all divorce and separation. How any of that has anything to do with the taxpayer is beyond me.
About time therefore to see whether we actually need a welfare item like the DPB. I'd suggest to simply phase the thing out altogether, say over a five year period or something, so all its recipients can gradually adjust their lives and work patterns accordingly.

MacDoctor said...

She did not think work was a way out of poverty for those on welfare unless they could get stable well-paid jobs, but most could only find low-paid, often temporary jobs.

Apparently this woman does not know that the way most people enter the job market is by taking a low-paid job and working their way up. This is presumably because Ms. Wynd has never had a real job in her life, otherwise she would know this.

Shane Pleasance said...

Even if it is financially cheap (and one doubts), it is morally bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Of all the motivations for reforming the DPB, improving the lot of children is the most important.

No, eliminating bludgerism is the most important.

Perhaps that can be done by improving the lot of children at the bottom: but if it can be done quicker, cheaper, and more effectively (and it can) by significantly worsening their lot, then that is a far more responsible policy.

But then, you'd probably like the UK Coalition Approach: spend more on benefits http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/26/coalition-welfare-reforms-duncan-smith

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