Dom Post on work tests

April 1st, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

An important social contract underpins New Zealand’s welfare system. At its heart is the principle that society will provide for individuals who are unable to support themselves on the understanding that those who are able to work will make an honest effort to look for employment.

Yep, and support for the former is undermined when the latter does not occur.

Sadly, however, some beneficiaries see it as their God-given right to remain on welfare for life and not only make no effort to improve their lot, but add to the burden on taxpayers.

They include women on the domestic purposes benefit who seem to believe they can have as many children as they want while remaining dependent on the state, and that workers will be happy to pay for them to have that privilege.

It is a minority, but it is not an insignificant minority. We should be full of compassion for parents who suddenly find themselves without a partner because they die, flee, turn abusive. But that is a different situation to having multiple babies to multiple partners over many years, and hence never being in employment.

The number of women who have had additional children while on the DPB is undeniably cause for concern. Between 1993 and 2011, almost a third of women who drew the benefit had at least one more child. In 2010 alone, 4800 children were born to solo mothers already on the DPB – 7.5 per cent of the total live births that year.

A third is far too high. Mistakes will and can occur, but at a third that suggests many of them are deliberate decisions to have further children despite being unable to even provide for existing children.

That is not fair on working parents who would dearly love more children, but who have put off increasing the size of their families because of economic pressures.

Exactly.

It is also not fair to the children of those beneficiaries.

It has long been established that children in working families have far better health, education and social outcomes. That is true for children with one parent as well as those with two.

Not only do children in sole-parent families benefit from their mother or father having a higher income than they would get from welfare payments, they also benefit enormously from seeing their parents go out to work every day.

This is the part that I think is most important. A child who grows up in a household where no adult ever works in paid employment is going to probably start life very disadvantaged.

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30 Responses to “Dom Post on work tests”

  1. kowtow (8,444 comments) says:

    There needs to be a serious debate about welfare.

    I don’t often agree with Gwynn Dyer but look at this on demographcs,nothing new but big implications for old age pensions.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/251398/welcome-new-world-rising-life-spans-spell-changes

    I see 900000 dropped off the sick benefit in the UK due to a stricter testing regime being introduced. That’s a million fraudsters.

    The west is broke and we simply can’t afford the level of govt spending and welfare that electorates demand.

    It ends up with the Cyprus scenario where govt simply steal your savings to continue to pay for services that can’t be paid for!

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  2. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    Heck, I know how to fix this- let’s introduce political currents in society that run counter to everything that supports the traditional family unit.

    Lets disparage everything that might suggest that patriarchal/ matriarchal family units, like Mum Dad, kids, supported by fidelity and faith, are the things that underpin a viable and sane society.

    That will fix it.

    Talk about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

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  3. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    It couldn’t put it any better myself Red. You covered it completly.

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  4. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    Diversified NZ will solve it Red!

    A Maori Milton Friedman.

    A lesbian Ayn Rand.

    A gay Thomas Stowell.

    Then again – they can’t even produce a Rodney Hide between them! :cool:

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  5. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Good luck trying to regulate people’s sex lives. Never works.

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  6. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    Harriet- of course the other main thing to is not to offend any religious belief.

    Ahh, you think I mean Christianity.

    Nope I mean Socialism- that is of course the religion du jour.

    You can’t say things like Kowtow just said, that the whole fucking vote-buying country destroying fraud is “unaffordable”.

    Just too offensive to the religious beliefs of your average statist moron.

    That’s why National has to go tippy toe on the issue.

    Of course the high priests of Labour/ leftism/ Progressivism will be screaming their heads off no matter what.

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  7. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    Tom, when you pay losers to pump out sprogs, of course you’ll increase the demand.

    For sprogs and losers.

    But who the fuck cares….?????

    THEY ALL VOTE FOR SOCIALISM, YIPPEE..

    THE MORE SOCIALIST LOSERS THE MERRIER.

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  8. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    By law, the richest 10% of males in NZ are legally allowed to publicly ask single mothers via the news media, if they can have a – conjugal visit ! :cool:

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  9. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Child Poverty Action Group has published a ‘Discussion Paper’ addressing what they call myths.

    Myth 1 is “Breeding for a business”.

    Facts
    The policy referred to is Labour’s removal of work obligations for sole parents with young
    children on the DPB. There is no evidence that anyone‘ breeds for a business’ or that imposing work obligations change fertility outcomes.

    Relationship breakdown is the major cause (65%) of women becoming sole parents.

    When a spouse dies, or the relationship becomes violent, access to the DPB contributes to the protection and wellbeing of the child.

    Over time, of those people depending on DPB, less than 25% give birth to, or become sole caregiver to, more children and of that 25%, roughly 6% (around 1,500 women) have 2 or more children while on a benefit.

    Far from breeding as a business as at December 2012 approximately 50% of DP beneficiaries are caring for only one child.

    On an annual basis about one third of the benefits are cancelled as sole parents leave largely for work or new
    relationships.

    That fails totally in proving a myth – in fact it emphasises the number of women who have children while on the DPB. Of course some of them will have become pregnant bedore they went on the DPB, but certainly not all.

    And this doesn’t address whether choosing to have a first child and use the DPB as support is prevalent or not.

    http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Backgrounders/130328%20Myths%20and%20Facts%20CPAG2013.pdf

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  10. Redbaiter (8,810 comments) says:

    DPB is fuck all when the government takes $80 billion out of the economy and IT IS STILL NOT ENOUGH.

    BTW PG, have you looked at who runs the CPAG?

    Get outta here with your worthless commie crap.

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  11. Michael (909 comments) says:

    An unemployment benefit is for those who are genuinely seeking work – but as we see from complaints from employers, too many are unemployable as they don’t present themselves as such (by poor CVs, poor interview ettiquite, or even just failing to turn up) so they shouldn’t qualify.

    The Domestic Purposes Benefit is for sole parents to raise children, but one important part of being a parent is to be a good role model, so providing for yourself and working should be requirements.

    The sickness benefit is for people who are too ill to work – so when a sickness beneficiary is in court for breaking into someones house or bashing a pensioner they show that they have some physical strength and are so therefore capable of work.

    The rest who are genuinely sick, been abandoned with children and want to get back on their own two feet, or can’t find a job because they’re really unlucky shouldn’t worry about the tough new rules.

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  12. Manolo (13,753 comments) says:

    Too many parasites defended by do-gooders and hand-wringers who always claim foul.
    Successive governments have done sweet fuck all to remedy the situation, but made it worse.

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  13. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    DPF – “It is a minority, …..”.

    Gotta link for that?

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  14. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Mistakes will and can occur

    Yes indeed.

    How can I be pregant?

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  15. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Welfare needs to be provided by the private sector with voluntary donations..period. The different incentives and dis incentives this will cause to change peoples behavior will sort this mess out overnight.

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  16. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    Successive Red Labour and Blue Labour governments have created this situation and neither would be prepared to solve it.

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  17. duggledog (1,555 comments) says:

    What’s amazing about this article is that A: it’s been printed, and B: that Dyer must have put down his pen and poured himself a congratulatory drink, thinking to himself he’s written some grand opus to start people thinking.

    Gwynne, I expect a lot more from you; this is just… old. What did you hope to achieve with it? Getting a few people to ring talkback, as they have already done for decades, saying precisely what you have written? Do you ever listen to talkback? Read letters to the editor? Have a beer at the RSA? Visit any of those many parts of New Zealand that now look like Tonga?

    I give you a 4/10 for writing an utterly predictable article. There will indeed be a bit of outrage, Leighton and Plunket will have full boards in the morning and Kryan will have a good hard shriek on National Radio, and that will be about it.

    By the way Michael, these aren’t tough new laws. They are a nudge only. Tough new laws would be removing any state benefits from households where parents leave the kids to roam the neighbourhood at night robbing houses. Where mothers receive DPB for the first child only. Etc.

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  18. unpcnzcougar (52 comments) says:

    Why don’t we just reverse social engineer like Singapore did. Encourage educated professionals to have children by giving them tax breaks on child care. That way they can afford more children and go back to work and these children will go on and become educated and professional themselves.

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  19. Manolo (13,753 comments) says:

    Why don’t we just reverse social engineer like Singapore did.

    Because it requires balls than neither Red Labour nor Blue Labour have. That’s why.

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  20. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Tom, when you pay losers to pump out sprogs, of course you’ll increase the demand.

    That really doesn’t matter. Removing the DPB would be worse. People will have children that they can’t support, no matter what we say or do. In the end, the only humane thing to do is give those children a basic standard of living. A side effect of that is a small increase in people having children they can’t afford. So what? Having car insurance is proven to increase reckless driving, but we don’t get rid of it. The DPB is the least worst solution.

    Neither you, nor anyone else here has a workable solution that isn’t a ridiculous violation of human rights, wishful thinking, or so misogynistic as to lose a large portion of the female vote.

    I have a solution. Why don’t we castrate men who don’t provide for the children they father? ;)

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  21. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Welfare needs to be provided by the private sector with voluntary donations..period

    Tried before. Doesn’t work. Obvious market failures.

    Next dumb suggestion, please.

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  22. Scott (1,797 comments) says:

    Well how about marriage where mum and dad get married and then have children? Then they bring up the children themselves and don’t require the state to pay? When we bought in no fault divorce which meant divorce became much more common and then the DPB exacerbated the problem.
    But the editorial shows how much the taxpayer is up for. If 4000 women have babies while already on the DPB that’s millions of additional dollars that we the taxpayer have to come up with. I don’t know about you but I am getting tired of funding this liberal welfare state. Can I opt out? I am sure Tom Jackson will take up the slack!

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  23. Scott (1,797 comments) says:

    The scorned at 1.35pm. My goodness I agree with you! Wonders never cease. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with you on anything before? It just shows that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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  24. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    The amount of money paid to solo mothers on DPB is only a fraction of the problem, however it seems to be the one people most like to focus on. Let’s bash a solo mum day (365 days of the year). What is the problem is generational ‘hopelessness’ where the skills or rather lack of them are passed on from generation to generation.

    What is needed are measures to stop that. Incentives to break the cycle and ensure future generations are able to raise their children in an environment that ensures they are self-sufficient honest law-abiding members of society.

    Sending solo mothers to work and allowing children to be raised in day care centers will not fix the problem at all. All it will do is create more social problems.

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  25. greenjacket (465 comments) says:

    “That is not fair on working parents who would dearly love more children, but who have put off increasing the size of their families because of economic pressures.”
    Absolutely. My wife and I put off having kids until we were financially secure – which also meant we were unable to have more than two kids. However, my taxes have to pay for bludgers who deliberately rip off the system.
    This preference by successive governments – especially Labour – to throw money at bludgers and tax the crap out of workers has turned me into an implaccable opponent of Labour.

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  26. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    You all forgot about the dads who created the problem in the first instance. When you have finished kicking the mums turn your attention to the dads. Men are the problem here.

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  27. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    It’s all very logical isn’t it.
    BUT When National frame the debate around “women primarily as incubators”, they lose by providing fertile ground for socialism to take root.
    Funnily enough, prior to 1991 there were none of these indolent fuck vehicles popping out children. But Jenny Shipley and Ruth Richardson would seem to have bred a whole generation.

    Lesson to the post Ryall/English administration:

    Following welfare slashing, you need to invest in training and relocation if you don’t want to engender an environment conducive to “Bludging Breeders”.

    And where are the jobs BTW?

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  28. Scott (1,797 comments) says:

    The problem is not confined to New Zealand. Even Britain is struggling to cope with welfare entitlement- ” Just one in eight on sickness benefit is truly too ill to work: Almost a million drop benefits claim to avoid new test”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2302122/Just-sickness-benefit-truly-ill-work-Almost-million-drop-benefits-claim-avoid-new-test.html#ixzz2PBqnOV3A

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  29. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    A child who grows up in a household where no adult ever works in paid employment is going to probably start life very disadvantaged …

    … and breed to create more of the same, who then go onto vote for parties that promise perpetual entitlement. Socialism is taking over NZ, and National are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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  30. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Why don’t we just reverse social engineer like Singapore did

    Sadly it’s because intelligent, independent citizens can’t be bullied into voting that way the ruling class has decided is best for themselves.

    By contrast, ignorant and/or apathetic voters are the lifeblood of modern democracies.

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