The Crippling of the Welfare State is bennie bashing
It is this Government's economic turbo charged incompetence that has led to the crippling of the welfare state by creating a billion dollar deficit in revenue because of the rise in GST. This incompetence is aided by John Key's out of touch bubble world millionaire lifestyle which concludes for him that poor people needing food parcels choose to be poor and that if he cut benefits, bugger all beneficiaries would starve.
This is just bennie bashing counter-productive bullshit. It's feral raw meat for red necks dressed up as social policy. We are the 7th most unequal country on the planet in terms of the gap between rich and poor, yet we are going to bash the weakest members by cutting their benefits if they don't find work in a 6+% unemployment market? We are going to force 100 000 solo mums, sick, disabled and mentally unwell back to work or else. What kind of stress is that going to put on our weakest and most vulnerable?
As the ever brilliant Gordon Campbell points out...
Late last year, the OECD released comparative figures which showed that one of the main reasons for the recent rise in people receiving disability benefits is that New Zealand has been operating from a very low base – mainly thanks to the pre-Rogernomics policies of full employment and prior methods of institutional care….,Even so – and this is the relevant point – the numbers of working age people who receive sickness and disability benefits in New Zealand is still well below the OCED average. In 2008, this ratio was 3.8% in New Zealand, as compared to the 5.7% OECD average. Moreover, the share of people on disability benefits is among the lowest in the OECD for older workers aged 50-64, but fifth highest for young adults aged between 20-34.
Therefore, if there is mis-diagnosis going on here – as Paula Bennett would no doubt suggest – it is among young adults, which represents even worse news for the Key government. It means that the already calamitous figures for youth unemployment are even worse than they currently seem. Either way, the bulk of those people on sickness and disability benefits likely to be re-classified as work-capable by the Bennett reform process (ie, young people on sickness and disability benefits) are going to be tipped out onto the very part of the job market where the shortage is already the most extreme.
To continue : New Zealand’s spending on sickness and disability as a share of GDP was also lower in 2008 than the OECD average – 1.3% to 1.9%. A further sign that if anything, New Zealand has been skimping in this area. Moreover, the unemployment rate for New Zealanders suffering from chronic health or disability was in 2006 (the most recent comparison period available) only 7.4% – which is far, far short of the 13.7% average unemployment rate for such people among OECD nations as a whole. Conversely, the employment rate for sick and disabled people in New Zealand is among the highest in the OECD – 59.5% compared to 43.6%. The sick and disabled are already working in large numbers here even though, as the OECD also noted, such poorly paid work still leaves their incomes lower than that of the general population of New Zealand.
Whanau, all stick and no play makes little Wiremu a prison statistic.