Monday, August 11, 2014

Money management extended as expected - not far enough though

TV3 reports:

The Government will extend its money management welfare scheme to all teenage parents and many 18 and 19-year-old beneficiaries if it's re-elected.
The scheme was introduced in 2012 for 16 and 17-year-old beneficiaries and teenage parents up to 18.
Under the scheme, their rent and power is paid and they're given a charge card for other essentials.
They come under the guidance of an adult from a community organisation and have $50 a week spending money.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced the extension today, confirming it was a National Party election policy.

This is timid. Some 19 year-old teen parents are already on the money management scheme because they entered the benefit system shy of 19 but must enrol with a  youth provider for at least 6 months.

Money management should be extended to any beneficiary who is repeatedly turning up at Work and Income needing extra hardship assistance. It's an especially justifiable policy to all those voters claiming to care about children experiencing hardship.

Assistance-in-kind is superior to money. It guarantees provision for basic needs and avoids the negative incentives that come with  'free' cash.

Independent individuals should be the ultimate aim, but in the interim, and by way of progressing that goal, a money management/assistance-in-kind regime is hard to argue with for any political party.

1 comment:

thor42 said...

I agree. Far too timid.

Extending the scheme as you've suggested would be *hugely* popular. It would be nothing more than the government making sure that money is spent as wisely as possible.