Friday, September 27, 2013

Never let Labour near welfare again

When he was Minister for Social Development Steve Maharey either said or wrote repeatedly that the average duration on the DPB was 3 and a half years. He was wrong about that. More importantly, he made policy based on incorrect information.


If Labour is re-elected the next Minister will be Sue lets-extend-paid-parental-leave Moroney. Clearly another steeped in hand-out mentality who can't get her facts right.

The current Minister has a better handle on welfare than any previous. She has opened up the books and given data to people who know how to analyse it. She has subsequently targeted reforms at those people who are at greatest risk of being long-term dependent, for their sake and the rest of the country. She can go further but she'll need a mandate.

Whatever else your priorities are, factor in welfare when making a choice next year.

5 comments:

Graduate said...

No matter what she does- I cannot forget that she used training incentive allowance to get where she is, and then cut it off.

And not just solo mums but from invalids, such as myself.

thor42 said...

*Excellent* post, Lindsay.

@Graduate - you mention "training incentive allowance." What do you mean by "she cut it off"?
It is still there according to the WINZ website -
http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/a-z-benefits/training-incentive-allowance.html

The site also says that it can be paid to those on "Supported Living Payment" (the former Invalid's Benefit) which presumably is the one you're on.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Bennett reduced funding and changed what a TIA could be used for.

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/bennett-cutting-a-benefit-helped-her-labour-103907

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been accused by Labour of cutting funding for training allowances that she benefited from while a solo mother herself.

Labour's associate social development spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni said Ms Bennett had said she knew how hard life was on the domestic purposes benefit and she wanted those on it to have the ambition to get off the benefit.

Ms Sepuloni said instead of giving more support the budget had cut $3.6 million from the training incentive allowance for sole parents on benefits next year -- an $8.7 million total by 2013.

"How can she cut solo parents off from an opportunity that was essential in assisting her to receive further education?" Ms Sepuloni asked.

In Parliament, Ms Bennett said the Government still wanted to help sole parents with training, but changes were necessary because of the recession.

"This means that we are making decisions accordingly, $22.5 million will be spent on the training incentive allowance in the next year," Ms Bennett said.

"We have not cut the training incentive allowance; we have not cut the training level, we have merely changed the level."

Sole parents would still be helped with a "foundation course or other certificate", but at university level they would be treated as other students, she said.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Also from a Treasury report to the Welfare Working Group:

"Fifty-one percent of DPB recipients participating in an intervention took the Training Incentive Allowance, which MSD found to have no effect on the time a beneficiary was likely to spend off benefit – in fact the study found there was a chance TIA slightly increased the average time spent on benefit. MSD did note there was a chance that TIA may have an unobserved long-term impact (after seven years) on time spent off benefit."

Bennett could hardly ignore the advice from officials because of her personal history.

thor42 said...

"Bennett could hardly ignore the advice from officials because of her personal history."

True.

In a similar vein, I would also point to the *excellent* results that a couple of the *partnership school providers* have achieved with children in Northland.
Children who were *written off* as complete failures by the state schools.

One of the providers managed to get their students achieving *one hundred percent* pass rates in NCEA level 1 and 2.
Utterly amazing.

My source is the radio interview between John Banks and Willie Jackson - it can be listened to here -

http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/09/john-banks-talks-willie-jackon-partnership-schools/#axzz2g3AxnmFS

So the Nats are looking at the WHOLE package - welfare AND education - and that is as it should be.

Labour, Greens and Mana have *nothing* to offer except doling out more benefit money. Their "living wage" won't work - companies forced to pay it will simply lay off workers, so unemployment rates will skyrocket.

Those sacked workers will then be on a benefit instead of having a job, so the "living wage" will have made their situations WORSE.