Sunday, September 24, 2006

Welfare Reform UK

The United Kingdom measures up against US welfare reforms in much the same way as New Zealand. Failed. D minus. Must try harder. Much harder.

From the Guardian; New Labour has tried hard, but has never felt able to reproduce the robustness of Clinton's measures in a British context. As a result, 16 per cent of households, representing more than three million people, are still workless in Britain, living off benefit, only down by an eighth over the past 10 years. Yet over the past two years, up to 600,000 east Europeans have found work in Britain. Too many British live on benefit for no better reason than they don't want to work and there is too little insistence that they show determination and resource in finding some.

In New Zealand 13.7 percent of households are workless. Odd that, when unemployment is only 3.6 percent.


Kent Parker said...

What do you consider a useful welfare reform, Lindsay?

Lindsay said...

Hi Kent, one that stops robbing people of their potential.

Anonymous said...

Current event programmes have recently screened a story of beneficaries getting into heavy debt and another one on people gambling on the pokies and using their benefit to gamble or ending up on a benefit.

From my point of view I think holy moly what a pickle but the beneficaries are jovial, unconcerned that they are now reliant on the taxpayer.


Lindsay said...

Gloria, It took me some time working with beneficiaries to understand that SOME of them do not think like me. That sounds obvious now I write it but it came as quite a revelation when it eventually dawned on me. What gives you and me (based on your comment) a sense of security, calm, and satisfaction, (or anxiety, fear and dissatisfaction) isn't there. It didn't develop in their childhoods and it hasn't developed since.

Kent Parker said...


one that stops robbing people of their potential.

There's not much detail in there. You cannot do anything with nothing.

Have you got a link where you explain in more detail how you think we could score more than a C+?

To respond to what you have written, it takes a whole lot more than just a benefit handout to rob someone of their potential.

In response to anonymous, you don't have to be a beneficiary to have a gambling problem. Take the CHCh woman who recently gambled away millions of dollars of a marital settlement, chewing into her employer's funds as well. This woman had the same lax attitude towards money that you describe. Having a gambling problem and being a beneficiary are two quite independent things.

Gloria said...

I accept that not everyone with a gambling problem is a beneficary, although that is where they will often end up. You have to wonder how much welfare contributes to perpetuating
lax attitudes to gambling and addictions.