Monday, August 9, 2010

Welfare Working Group Report

The Welfare Working Group headed by Paula Rebstock has produced its first issues report. They claim that our benefits are unsustainable and even make the ridiculous prediction that the expenditure could go from something like 6 billion to 50 billion.

This is absolute nonsense. The only thing that is unsustainable is capitalism.

The panel bemoans the fact that the state now support single mothers, which it once did not. The introduction of the DPB in the 1970's was a progressive step.
Mothering is work. Mothers and carers should receive a living income for themselves and their families.

It also bemoans the length of time that some people are on benefits, even though the majority are only on them short term. Instead of trying to get people off benefits as quickly as possible, the Government should be creating real jobs, and recognising the value of the work that single parents do. If it wants to help single mothers into meaningful and suitable work, with adequate childcare, It should not have cut early childhood education funding, or funding which allows single parents to do tertiary study.

One of the most dangerous aspects of the report is its enthusiasm for the insurance model of benefits; where workers pay into an insurance scheme while working, and supposedly then receive money back when they become unemployed. But it doesn't work out like that in practice,as the Canadian experience has shown. (See our previous item, Beware the Insurance Model. )

The New Zealand Herald makes a big deal out of the suggestion that bosses might contribute pay into this scheme, but it is in fact the workers who put their lives on the line with it. It's the workers who pay and risk getting nothing back if they have not worked enough hours, or didn't have a job in the first place.

The next report of the Welfare Working Group is out in September, where they make their recommendations.

For the absolute ridiculousness of this panel and its members, have a look at

here's a link to the WWG report.

We need a network of beneficiary activists to campaign vigorously against all these dangerous proposals; and those for those who like making submissions to do so to the panel.

We can also make submissions to the Alternative
welfare working group, (see our links at the left).

No comments: