New rules for dole needed
Economists: Ease rules on dole for couples
Two economists are calling for a fundamental rewrite of New Zealand's welfare system because of the numbers of people being made redundant who can't get the dole because their partners are still working. Dr Susan St John of Auckland University and Keith Rankin of Unitec say the system is based on "outmoded social concepts" such as assuming that everyone lives in single-income families where dad goes out to work and mum stays home with the children. On this basis, the unemployment benefit is clawed back by 70c for every dollar earned above $80 a week by either the main earner or their partner. This means anyone with a partner earning more than $534 a week cannot get even a partial benefit. In Australia, the dole is reduced by only 60c for every dollar of a partner's income above A$387.50 ($485) a week, so a partial benefit is available until the partner earns A$1069 ($1340) a week.
Ouch, these crazy old rules for the dole are inane, and it masks the real level of unemployment within society. The level of stress it also creates within that relationship relying on just one wage doesn’t bode well either, I didn’t realize the rules were so draconian, $534 a week isn’t enough to rule you out as needing help from unemployment. It’s rules like this that keep people desperate leading to worker exploitation, and with the unemployment rates only predicted to increase these issues on rates have to be fixed asap.