Saturday, October 19, 2019

The moral imperative to work

I had a discussion with Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB yesterday about why the numbers on Jobseeker continue to escalate. There are at least a couple of trends driving it but Mike was more interested in the political aspect.
Listen here

Host Kerre McIvor played a part of the interview and ran with it after 9. People were almost unanimously in her corner. That if you can work you have a moral imperative to do so.

It struck me later that National's welfare reforms have had one very interesting effect. Because so many more people are classified as  'Jobseekers' (those who used to be on a sickness benefit and those who would have been on the DPB even when their youngest was 14 or over), now that the unemployment rate is at only 3.9% the public is far less tolerant.

Remember that when Labour was last in govt and unemployment dropped to 3.8% in 2008, the same % of people were on welfare - just spread mainly over the other three benefits - DPB, Sickness and Invalid. So the argument about working and supporting oneself was muddied.

I don't know if this consequence was intended by National but it certainly makes the argument more black and white. The lack of workers in many industries and regions is holding back growth. An unjustifiable scenario with so many people receiving the dole.

No comments: