Welfare is not good for wellbeing

Jacinda Ardern cracking Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Details are scarce about the government’s proposed ‘wellbeing’ budget, due out in May. In fact, they are non existent. In the absence of anything real and concrete regarding the concept, I am going to stick my neck out and say that this policy will just mean more welfare. We can already see the direction this government is going. They are set to introduce new taxes, they have reduced sanctions on people on benefits and they have already increased welfare payments. ‘Wellbeing’ will not apply to people who work: they will be hit with bigger tax bills. ‘Wellbeing’ will only apply to those who cannot help themselves, and those who will not help themselves.

I don’t mind paying taxes to help those who cannot help themselves, but I really despise paying taxes to pay for those who could help themselves, but choose not to.

As Mike Yardley at Newstalk ZB points out, however, welfare is not necessarily good for wellbeing. Helping people to do nothing for themselves is not adding to the wellbeing of either the individual or the country. It is madness to think that it could be. quote.

I would have thought that leading a productive, independent life is the essential foundation to enhancing well-being.
And on that score, this coalition government is racking up a growing well-being deficit.

290,000 working age people are currently receiving a main benefit. That?s jumped 3.3 per cent in just twelve months. But what?s even more dismal, given the robust health of the New Zealand economy, is the sizeable jump in Kiwis joining the dole ranks. That has shot up by 11,000 people, year on year. Despite the well-publicised and gaping labour shortages plaguing a swag of sectors, the proportion of the working age population parked up on the dole is at its highest level in four years. That is shameful. end quote.

Shameful indeed, but what can be expected with a government that has deliberately removed sanctions for those on benefits, so that getting more money from the state is easier than ever? Why bother getting a job when you can get free money from the government, with no questions asked? quote.

But how does feather-bedding the social welfare hammock enhance an individual?s well-being?

Expanding the welfare state does not expand well-being.

Long-term dependency is a dead end. Standing on your two feet is the only way to get ahead and boost your self-worth. But this government is sending all the wrong signals on dependency. Welfare is not well-being.

  newstalk zb end quote.

We are in the unenviable position of having record numbers of people on the dole while having to import workers to fill job vacancies in our core industries. Talk about first world problems. Those immigrants who come here to work are going to find themselves contributing to the welfare of indolent people who simply cannot be bothered to go and find a job. There is a certain sad irony in that. In the meantime, immigrant numbers continue to spiral, which will only exacerbate the housing problem, and the entire country groans under the weight of additional people that it does not have the means or the infrastructure to accommodate.

This government is actively promoting this outcome. By simply giving away more and more money to those who don’t really need it, they are promoting intergenerational welfare dependency that is a cancer in our society. Maori in particular are victims of this mentality, and we know the outcomes are often dire.

For those on welfare, the money is never enough to live a decent life, nor should it be. This government is actively growing the underbelly of our society, which leads to hopelessness and often mental illness. Then, people who once could have helped themselves will be no longer able to help themselves. Show me the ‘wellbeing’ in that.