An excellent policy from National

Christopher Luxon announced a significant policy yesterday in his conference speech:

There are 50,000 more people on the jobseeker benefit than when Labour took office. And for those aged under 25 it has gone from 23,000 to 34,000. Also of concern is the number who have been on the benefit for greater than 12 months is up 84%

So National’s announced a policy to get young people off welfare and into work. Key elements are:

  • Community providers contracted to provide 18–24-year-old Jobseekers with a dedicated Job Coach to help get them into work
  • Funding linked to keeping young people off welfare.
  • Jobseekers will get a proper assessment of their barriers to finding work, and an individual job plan to address them.
  • Those who fail to follow their plan will face sanctions, such as money management or benefit reductions
  • long-term under 25 Jobseekers who get into work and stay off benefit for 12 months will recieve a $1,000 bonus.

This is a home run for me. It hits all the key elements of good policy:

  • A well defined problem
  • A partnership between government and community
  • Funding tied to actual results or outcomes
  • Resourcing to solve the problem
  • A mixture of both carrot and stick

The policy is costed at around $120 million over four years, with 20,000 young people to be assisted. I am very happy to pay $6,000 per person to get them away from being a long-term welfare recipient. If it works for even 20% of them, it will be a great (social) investment.

There is absolutely no good reason welfare numbers should have increased so much, as official unemployment levels are so low. Having a work capable 18 year old spent a decade on welfare is not kind – it is cruel.

Comments (159)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment