The Herald reports:
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.
When I read this, I thought to myself that I bet one of the economists is Susan St John.
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.
I don’t think the system is based on those assumptions. I think a change with what Dr St John proposes would be both unaffordable and inefficient – it would be more middle class welfare and tax churning.
Going from two to one incomes is not nice, and many families struggle I am sure. But that can’t be compared to a zero income family. The unemployment benefit is for families where neither partner is (significantly) working.
The Government already has massive deficits and debt. This is the silliest time to be proposing making it worse – in my opinion. Any extra welfare payments have to be borrowed and eventually paid back by future taxpayers.Tags: Susan St John, welfare