Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Good on the government

The plan to pay $3,000 to beneficiaries who move to Christchurch to take up a job is another positive incentive aimed particularly at young people. It's another positive incentive (funding someone into work) rather than an negative one (funding someone into parenthood). And I could hardly find fault after supporting Duncan Garner's sentiments back in March when the DomPost published this letter:

Duncan Garner has a point about the dichotomy between high labour needs in Christchurch and the 67,000 young Kiwis not in training, education or work. While only 40 percent of those are actually on the "dole" that number is still unnecessarily high. The government has put some effort into getting locally unemployed into jobs, but there are still around 1,600 benefit-dependent unemployed 18-24 year-olds in Canterbury alone.
Perhaps the problem is skills are required now and apprenticeships divert qualified tradesmen away from the job at hand? But I agree with Garner. There appears to be a golden opportunity going begging. The same can be said about job opportunities the needs of our ageing population will present; more residential carers, in-home carers, various health workers, home maintenance providers, etc. While the government funds much of this, it makes total sense to be diverting dole money into training for these roles. How hard can it be?
The answer must be 'very'. It's easier to import able and willing workers and hope their productivity and taxes will support the unemployable.
So good on the government for this initiative.

Labour's response is weak. Very. From Ruth Dyson:

“Where are these people, coming into the region to take up paid work, going to live?  There is an increasing shortage of affordable rental properties, more people moving in from overseas to take up work, and more Cantabrians moving out of their homes for repairs or rebuild.
“ There is just nowhere for these new people that the Prime Minister is paying to come to Canterbury, to live. That is a recipe for disaster."
Up to 1,000 young people present much less of an accommodation problem than the non-beneficiary inflow already occurring. They present an opportunity as boarders and flatmates. More negativity from Labour for the sake of it.


Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

I do think it's a good idea, but I wonder if the 'grant' money should come with a requirement to stay in paid employment for a minimum of one year.

Perhaps it does?

If you meet the requirement, the money is yours, fail to meet the requirement, it is subsequently detucted from your benefit by a nominal weekly amount?

We have long since broken the link between Government largesse and personal responsibility. I'd like to see this restored.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"If the recipient goes back on benefit within three months of the payment without a sufficient reason, then the payment must be repaid." Paula Bennett

Anonymous said...

Accommodation could be easily solved. I am old enough to remember working mens camps. Small houses in rows where men slept and used communal facilities and where their was a cookhouse with meals.

We could knock these out of a factory in hours. build a coul;e of thousand and solve the problem. don't need all the fancy stuff. Just warm dry and comfy beds. Probably have to have a few ladies only as well.(Well just for the feminists anyway).