Work and Income make loans to people to get limited licences for the purpose of work.
Acting Social Development minister, Judith Collins, calls it "PC nonsense".
But if the practice ends the taxpayer will be expected to provide a benefit, which is not repayable, to support these people while they are out of work.
I think I prefer the "PC nonsense".
Of course the real issue is paying people benefits when they have actively caused their own inability to work.
That might better fit under the heading of PC nonsense.
In the past people who had broken laws, or who had drunk themselves into an unemployable state for instance, would have been ruled ineligible for social security payments. Perhaps that's the direction Crusher Collins thinks society should head in.
Should, for example, people who have committed an imprisonable offence be automatically disqualified from receiving benefits? Parliament has been consumed by the idea that prisoners should lose the right to vote. But the first question, whether they should lose their right to welfare, is far more important. It is also far more difficult.
If such restrictions were imposed, those who had no entitlement would be reliant on charities and churches (or wouldn't put themselves in that position in the first place). I like to think the latter would be the case but history tells us otherwise.
And one gets the impression that people like Judith Collins would have no truck with charities that practised "PC nonsense". That would go for many New Zealanders.
How I wish I could see things in such black and white terms.
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