Saturday, October 19, 2019

Lindsay Mitchell: 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 government and unemployment dropped to 3.8% in 2008, the same percent 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.

Lindsay Mitchell is a welfare commentator who blogs HERE.


Unknown said...

We must bring back 'Work for the Dole". I personally know of 19 year olds who have no intention of working. One a couple and she is now pregnant he no intention of working and will not even make an attempt to learn some skills. The excuses are rather imaginative and despite being offered assistance in learning to develop a work ethic refused. Despite all the hype about rules and regulations in practise they are not working.

Anonymous said...

Moralising to wok and demoralising not to

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand the thought processes of those who refuse to work. As the eldest of a [very] large family, and raised in a State House - our wonderful dad worked and mum worked raising us, plus she sewed, knitted, cooked and cleaned for us all. She and dad, especially our dad! were adamant that we would ll get the best education they could manage - that we were to get the best qualifications WE ourselves could manage, that none of us were to wind up in a State House and instead we were all expected to own our own homes, and bless him, he asked that none of us ever 'work for the damn government'. Well - as eldest I left school at 14 1/2.....and eventually found my metier and siblings went on to finish school, either get a trade, or go to University paying their own way through....; We ALL had careers we loved plus a great work ethic. None have been in trouble with the law, and we have all traveled the world and own our own homes. We have all passed that work ethic on to our children and now to our grandchildren....
None of us have been on a benefit - unless you count me as the only superannuitant so far in the family....and I retired at 70!
This week - in a certain retail outlet - I was also berated by a young lad who insisted 'you look old enough to be at work but you don't look old enough to be retired [bless!] tell me WHY I and my generation should be supporting you on a benefit'.....
What the hell can I say to him...?
[other than I was disgusted at being accosted and spoken to like this]