What Paula Bennett is actually doing in Welfare
When Paula talks of major welfare changes, what does she mean? Smokescreen issues like not allowing 16 year olds on the benefit to buy tobacco and alcohol?
Does she mean drug testing beneficiaries, forcing solo mums back to work and forced contraception for those on Welfare via the State?
Oh no, those are merely raw meat talk hate radio rhetoric distractions Bennett is throwing out to distract the public from unpopular policy.
What Paula is talking about is implementing failed right wing ideas from America. Paula is calling for changes so that she can inject free market ideology into welfare.
What we have seen in ACC with bonuses for cutting off claimants we are going to start seeing in Welfare. Behind the scenes Paula is quietly changing the manner in which the State looks and calculates the Welfare budget into a fixed cost that she can borrow against and justify bonus payments to 3rd Party corporations whose task is to cut people off Welfare.
This won't do anything to tackle NZ's poverty rates, they will only exacerbate them. These tactics will create 'unpeople', those who have been thrown off welfare and are not recorded. Their poverty becomes invisible to being recorded while making the official stats look palatable to middle NZ.
When Paula promised major reform, she and the National Party meant it.