Perhaps this is why Shane Jones fell out with Labour

via 3 news

Shane Jones is talking about cutting benefits if bludgers don’t take part in Government work schemes.

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones wants welfare payments to be cut if beneficiaries refuse to take part in his new Government work programme, which will look to plant trees and build up a railway network for tourists.

Jones will take four projects to Cabinet for his Working For Your Country scheme before Christmas, which will give beneficiaries a chance to work for at least the minimum wage in industries such as tree planting, riparian planting or regional railway development.

“In order to plant one billion trees, in order to deliver on riparian planting, in order to prepare a workforce for recapitalising the railways, the ne’er-do-well nephs will be required to take those jobs,” Jones told the?Herald.

If they are unwilling, then I will spend every thinking and waking moment ensuring they do not fall back on the dole and be permitted to do jack, while the rest of us are out there working.

Jones stressed that his preference of removing welfare entitlement still needed to be endorsed by Cabinet.

Let’s hope that secret coalition agreement allows this to be pushed through. Otherwise the party which represents the work-shy, criminals and bludgers may well veto it.

“I’m only saying this as the Regional Development Minister. But an opportunity will be made available for entry-level work. There is no option to refuse that work and then lay around on a Harley Davidson bike and still getting the dole.

“And if you don’t believe it’s happening, come with me to Kaikohe.”

The programmes would keep young men out of gangs, and give gang members as well as former prisoners an opportunity to get their lives back on track, he said.

Jones, who has been toying with Work For The Dole-type schemes, said regional leaders were imploring him to use his $1 billion regional development fund to kick-start projects.

“The Mayor of Wairoa wants to get cracking right now to reconnect Wairoa to Napier in terms of railways. The people of Whangarei expect to see picks and shovels by Waitangi Day on the way to Ruakaka.

“That’s not only for freight. Railway tourism offers one untapped opportunity.”

A riparian-planting programme would partner the Crown with NGOs, but other programmes could partner with the private sector.

He said funding could come from a $60 million NEETS (Not in Employment Education or Training) fund that was never used by the previous Government, or from the regional development fund.

Naturally, the organisations that represent the work-shy are opposed.

Figners crossed that Jones can push this hard.


-NZ Herald