Friday, September 21, 2012

It has to be "hard"

Simon Collins has been out talking with teenagers affected by the new welfare rules which pay most of their benefit as in-kind assistance. It would appear there are a few hitches with getting the balance right but some good stories about the difference the new service providers are making. These are the people contracted to work alongside the teenagers. These are the 'mentors'  that ACT always thought would be at the heart of any successful reform. And they are put with the most important cases first - the young beneficiaries.

Whereas the title of Collins' report has negative connotations - Teen welfare hard for guinea pigs - I see it as a positive. In terms of making ends meet it has to be hard and seen to be hard because part of the rationale for these reforms to deter others from going there.

My heart goes out to some of these kids though. I've got two teenagers and they are very, very lucky. They have something you can't put a price on. Security and unconditional love. That's what launches youngsters into a world that they can get the best out of. I fervently hope this new approach can make a real difference.


Mark Hubbard said...

Nice post Lindsay: your last paragraph shows where Welfarism is most evil, and you only had to be watching Campbell Live this week to know that.

Anonymous said...

They have something you can't put a price on. Security and unconditional love.

Right. And without that love, how can we expect them to do anything? If parents don't love their kids, the kids end up at state "school" - indoctrinated in socialism, learning nothing except that things come "free" from the government, and if that tap is ever turned off they should protest, from ages as young as five! They end up at state hospitals, again learning that even their biggest and most important expense, healthcare, will come "free" from taxpayers. So its no surprise that they learn that housing, food, transport, drink, drugs, playstations, etc will be provided for the "free" to!

The truth of the matter is: benefits create bludgers

The only way to stop this cycle is to stop the money. Now I'm sure the 47% (or in NZ, the 70%) will whinge about how "hard" that would be - but it would also be actually successful, unlike this totally weak set of "reforms".

brian_smaller said...

Teens don't need new clothes. That is what Ops Shops are for. Want new clothes - get a job.

These teens on welfare are finding out what a lot of young people find out when they no longer have someone else paying for their food and shelter. You have to make compromises.

Anonymous said...

Teens on welfare have someone else paying for their food and shelter.


brian_smaller said...

@Anon. True - I didn't quite mean it like that but you get the idea.

Viking said...

Lots of those teens would n't need welfare if this useless Govt. would get rid of the disrimination against them in a workplace and allow employers to take them on as junoir workers, which they are. Like so many things socialist minimum rates stop these kids getting a start in life,i.e. a job where they can earn their keep. They don't need high wages to learn, their needs are not that great although the socilaists have convinced them that their wants are. A dose of reality would be good and for those that live at home they can contribute to the household as many families used to do and many still actually need to do but can't.

Anonymous said...

By outsourcing the management to community groups we actually get these people into the hands of people who
1) have to perform of they loose funding - whereas WINZ they are just another cost.
2) You are getting them connected with local social service agencies who are better able to manage the care and less likely to get lost (very important when this is the most costly group of recipients because they stay on for the longest).

Anonymous said...

They don't need high wages to learn

They don't need and certainly don't deserve "high wages" at all

The average NZ worker is 30% less productive than the average Aussie worker. To be price competitive, we need to chop wages by 1/3rd; to be output competitive we need to put the working week up to say 60hours (10hours per day Mon-Sat).

Anonymous said...

outsourcing the management to community groups we just end up flushing more money down the crapper and turn every community group into a communist front wanting more welfare - i.e. wanting more money from a Labour/Greens government.

For a start, they'd have to kick back 10% of the funding to support Labour/Greens campaigns.

Nothing gets rid of welfare problems like just getting rid of welfare. And then eliminating taxes on business and on high-value individuals, charities can return to their original purpose, rather than just acting as another front for NZ's all-controlling government.