Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welfare reform questions in Parliament yesterday

There were two Parliamentary questions yesterday relating to welfare reform. The first was from a government MP about the youth reforms. Turns out they are seeking to defer the implementation date of legislation. But only slightly. I'm not surprised given the breakneck speed welfare reform legislation has been going through the various processes. Here's a reminder about what the youth reforms do:

Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development): The bill makes changes to put in place total wraparound support for young people—those who are on benefit and those who are not on benefit—including young teen parents. Currently, we just pay these young people who are on a benefit and leave them to it, with very little follow-up and very little support around them. We are putting a youth provider alongside each young person to support them, manage their benefit, and provide parenting and budgeting assistance, as well as ensuring they are in education, training, or work-based learning.

The second was a cost-quibbling question From Labour. Bennett got a bit stroppy with Ardern:

Jacinda Ardern: Does she have any capacity to fund phase two of her welfare reforms, given Budget documents show that the Ministry for Social Development struggled to fill a $700 million budget shortfall this year, and stated that “the estimated costs of phase two are [even] more uncertain than phase one.”?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: I am delighted that the member is waking up to the fact that these are tough times. Yes, the department has struggled to find $700 million in projected costs from within the department, but we did—but we did—and that has been hard work. We will find the savings that are needed for bill No. 2, because we fundamentally believe that they will make a difference for New Zealanders and their lives and their outcomes. That is what we are working towards.
Meanwhile out of Parliament an accommodation provider is getting stroppy with Bennett:
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been told to "get off her fat arse" and visit a caravan park she complained was unfairly hiking rents for "substandard" accommodation. The Waitakere MP yesterday singled out a caravan park in her electorate - Western Park Village - as "very expensive for what I'm sure most New Zealanders would see as quite substandard living". But the park owner, Darryll Heaven, said they did everything they could for many tenants that were forced upon them by Work and Income. "That is absolute bulls . . . That really annoys me because she won't get off her fat arse - she's only 500 metres away - to come down and see us. We've got a dozen staff and we're working 24 hours a day to control the place. She doesn't understand that and if she thinks we're ripping her off, come and have a look at our bottom line any time she likes."
The man has a preoccupation with bottoms.

To a point the accommodation supplement does act as a subsidy to landlords, but WFF 'top-ups' act as a subsidy to employers. So it is ironic that it is Labour driving a campaign against the AS from this standpoint. Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it the left that believe state redistribution is at the heart of a 'just and fair' society? The trouble is they have never been able to figure out how to stop confiscated monies flowing back to source.

1 comment:

S.Beast said...

I have a mental picture of this place and it ain't pretty.