Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The more things change...November 26, 2014

Welfare produces disincentives that end up harming the very people paying for it - farmers and employers.

Here's a piece from the NZ Herald November 26, 1934 - 80 years ago.

That some steps are necessary to transfer single men from relief to private employment cannot be seriously contested in face of the fact that a strong demand for farm labour is unsatisfied. In directing its certifying officers in country districts to refuse relief to single men who are capable of doing farm work, the Unemployment Board will be generally supported. At the present time relief may be unusually attractive because of the promised Christmas bonus and also because holidays are not usually available to farmers and their employees at this- time of the year. The unemployment problem will never be solved, no matter what the conditions of trade and industry may be, if relief conditions approach near enough to those of ordinary employment to rob men of initiative. In any case, there will always be a fairly large body of men scattered through the country, but concentrated mainly in the cities, who will be content with relief or the alternative sustenance as long as it is available. They have always been casual workers, who find the discipline of daily routine irksome, and some are not efficient enough to secure regular jobs. The first duty of the Unemployment Board is to see that men suitable for farm employment are drafted to it in preference to remaining on relief. The board's organisation ought to be equal to the responsibility of selecting suitable men for farmers, and farmers will facilitate its discharge if they make their requirements known to the officer of their immediate district. In the cities there seems to be need for better staff work, for complaint is being  made that people who have employment available are often unable to find anyone to take it. The reason seems to be that many of the men obtaining sustenance are not at hand when needed. - Employers will help the board if, as is suggested by Mr. Slaughter, more use is made of the Government Employment Bureau, which is in a position to supply suitable men. It would be an advantage if the Government officials could also be fully informed of the amount of aid that is being received from public and private charity organisations by many individuals.

Fast forward to 2014,

Venture Southland enterprise and strategic projects group manager Steve Canny said many young Southlanders were unemployed but a lot of agriculture jobs were available.
To address the issue, the Southland Futures project has been developed to draw 15- to 24-year-olds into jobs in the agricultural sector. Federated Farmers, Work and Income, Southland District Council and Venture Southland are involved...
SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said the institute was trying to provide pathways into jobs for young Southlanders not in education, employment, or training (NEETS).
The number of NEETS in the 19-24 age group was a worry and, despite offering training pathways, the numbers were not dropping, she said.
"We are concerned that when we offer staircasing level 2 and 3 programmes specifically targeted at NEETS as an introduction to move on to further specific trades qualifications, these young NEETS are not coming off the unemployment benefit and onto the programmes as a step in the right direction."
Perenniel problem where the actual cause is never addressed.

Of course the incidence of work avoidance - in which I include people who opt for parenthood over self-sufficiency - is on a much greater scale today.


Jamie said...

Yes Major General Sir Andrew Hamilton Russell got one of my Grand-Uncles a job on the farm after he got back from WW1.

I thank the Russell family.

My other Grand-Uncle got gassed and wounded at the Somme. He made it home and lived out his days an alcoholic,

One of the lucky ones I guess...

Hey I wonder what FIFO Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae is doin to help his lads in-to work...

Sweet F-A if you ask me...

Lindsay Mitchell said...

There are similar stories everywhere Jamie. On my husband's side a grand uncle who made it back from Passchendale (I think) only to commit suicide. Another was given semi-arable land that couldn't be made to turn a profit. Another, more lucky, got a good parcel of pasture.
I don't think any Maori were given resettlement land - something I must investigate. It is a shameful episode that Maori went to fight on equal footing but were not compensated on equal footing.

Jigsaw said...

Not that it negates your argument Lindsay but as far as I know Maori didn't fight in the front lines in WW1 only used as labour battalions. There was a curious attitude that the war was for whites only.

Jigsaw said...

In any event the support for men with land grants after WW1 was almost non-existant. Locally I have a family of a returned soldier,his wife and two children who were landed by boat (around 1920) and walked to their land, pitched a tent. Not a blade of grass. He worked on roadworks six days a week until they could afford a single cow. Hardly surprising that many didn't make it!