Wellbeing welfare

Credit: Al Nisbet

We are now starting to see the stark reality of what the upcoming wellbeing budget could look like. If the welfare changes announced are anything to go by then it’s largesse for the many, paid for by the taxes of the few.

Looking at the welfare changes it appears to be all money and no responsibility. According to Carmel Sepuloni, the government supports parental freedom and ensuring that solo parents and their children are not pushed into poverty by a private parental decision the government does not need to be involved in.

How should we interpret the words – a private parental decision? Is this meant to mean the act of procreating, having given careful thought to all the resultant effects of the outcome?  If Carmel really believes that then I have a bridge to sell her, maybe two.

In reality, the translation is this – you keep popping out the sprogs and the taxpayers, many of whom Carmel will regard as rich pricks, will pay. If that is indeed the rationale of this government then it is beyond stupid.

Should we be surprised? Encouraging people to have more children by putting dollar stars in their eyes is the very cause of why those people are in poverty. All they see is: Have more kids – get more money. Carmel needs to understand the people having the most kids are the ones who can least afford to. This idiotic woman is just going to exacerbate the situation. Carmel says there are a number of ways to reduce the number of people living in poverty. Well, she needs to wake up to the fact that this isn’t one of them. Then again, she’s not about to dump on her core voter support.

Carmel is of the opinion you can sleep with Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. It doesn’t matter because she has no interest in whether it was Phil, Chris, Shane, Kevin or Rangi. Probably the mother hasn’t either, come to that. She says refusing to name the father penalises the child. Pity these mothers don’t think about that before they arrange themselves into the position where a child is going to be the obvious outcome.

The government will support the Department’s three-tier approach of responding to fraud allegations – intervene, facilitate and as a last resort investigate. I would have thought that investigate should come first. Would anyone like to speculate on why it’s last?

There will be an extra 263 frontline staff whose sole focus will be to help more people into meaningful and sustainable work. Like the extra teachers, where are they going to come from? How qualified will they be? It sounds like job creation to me and is reminiscent of the Clark government, where we ended up with a bloated public service. It might be cheaper just to work with Shane Jones. He needs thousands to plant his trees. He’s years behind remember. Maybe that’s not meaningful work. How about employing people who can teach budgeting skills. But, under this nonsense, who needs to budget?

The monetary adjustments to welfare payments I can probably live with, along with mothers not having to return to the workforce until the child is six, although one could argue five.

Overall, what we have here is ideology over responsibility. Carmel says she wants everyone in meaningful work. We all know that’s bollocks. The more people they have on welfare the more votes they garner from those who can be bothered getting off the couch to go to the polling booth. I think from memory if you get yourself to the nearest KFC and buy what you can’t afford, you’ll be picked up – providing you vote Labour of course.

There’s plenty of fodder here for Louise Upston and National to feast on. I just hope the tastebuds are working. Having said that, most of what I’ve read on these proposed reforms has left a pretty sour taste in my mouth.