Monday, July 15, 2013

The 'mother' of all welfare shake-ups is happening now to someone near you!

So the Government is hell-bent on pursuing a major shake-up of welfare benefits. Various figures are being bandied around about just how extensive this is going to be. Some say it is the biggest change since the introduction of the Welfare State in 1938. Others say that it is long overdue and that we have created an underclass of dependency and a lazy multigenerational  mind-set.
I accept that there are those who do anything in order to do 'nothing. they are quite happy to subsist on the money they receive from any form of benefit and they probably pass this 'trait ' on to their kids. I am not saying that this mind frame is representative of the majority of people on benefits. Everyone I know who receives any form of benefit is struggling to make ends meet and would prefer to be the recipient of a living wage or salary.
I support moves to weed out those who 'can' work and I have no issue with either stopping or cutting payments to those who think that the rest of us should pay for their drug use. I am not supportive of forcing people into work who are not capable (for whatever reason) of holding down a full-time job. What employer would want to have someone on their staff who is incapable or even a 'danger ' to themselves or to their workmates. We know that WINZ pressures people to return to work and that some companies take on people who quite frankly are not an asset to their organizations.
For me, the bottom line in any welfare 'reform,' is the effect such moves have on the families of the recipients. If the children suffer, we as a society will be picking up the social costs, whether it is through 'top-ups' of increased resources needed for health or paying for the 'breakdown in the families,' caused by the extra pressure put on families.
For those people who think that welfare recipients have it easy, I say---'go try it yourself for a few months. Of course, that is not realistic but use your imagination. Despite the different 'support' structures that give add-ons to families, paying the bills and feeding the family is becoming almost impossible, especially in the larger cities and that claim can be made for so-called average incomes.
Balance is the key (excuse the unfortunate pun) and a 'caring' government will struggle to find that point. Caring for those who through no fault of their own, and find themselves in a position where they cannot support their families, is the measure stick. We as a society must step-up and help. Before we had a 'welfare state,' such supports were random and controlled at the whim of a range of charity organizations. There was no consistency and people were often missed. New Zealand has come a long way since those desperate days, but I have a strong feeling that there is a move back to that time, led by a Government  determined to turn back the clock. Yes, make some necessary changes but please, keep in mind the children---the future of our nation. If we do not take care of those who 'can not,' we are  heading for a bleak and uncaring future.

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