Welfare report ‘waste of money’ – Labour
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 4:21p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
Labour says the Government-commissioned report on the lifetime cost of beneficiaries is an exercise in accounting and achieves nothing.
The $800,000 report, by Australian accountancy firm Taylor Fry, was released today and calculated the welfare system costs the country $78.1 billion.
The Government calls it a “robust piece of data” which maps the behaviour and trends of beneficiaries over the last 20 years to predict the future cost.
But Labour’s social development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says common sense is just as robust as the report.
“It is an exercise in accounting and doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know,” says Ms Ardern.
She says the Government doesn’t need the report to tell them to invest in young people, health, jobs and training.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett disagrees and says Labour’s criticism is misguided.
“It’s actually given us a lot of things we didn’t know.
“It’s taken 40 different models of analysing the system which has come up with a robust piece of data.”
Ms Bennett says the 255-page report will provide more transparency and accountability in the welfare system.
Ms Ardern says it is “convenient” the Government report excludes superannuation figures which are double the cost annually of all the main benefits combined.
“It is politically convenient for them to cost only this part of the welfare system but they are unwilling to look at the total cost and sustainability of the superannuation system,” she says.
One of the report’s authors, Alan Glenfield, says the $78.1 billion figure is an estimate and will fluctuate with the economy.
He says the report is not designed to encourage the Government to set up a long-term fund but to see where the money is going.
COST BREAKDOWN: Lifetime costs of current beneficiaries
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13/09/2012 1:47:16 p.m.
the true unemployment figures are called: 'U6 Rate' which put new zealand approx 13%. why brining in 90day foreigner workers to build home, pick food etc... kiwis are now competiting with chineses workers!
13/09/2012 9:06:52 a.m.
Take away the largest group of beneficiaries (old people) approx 400 000. You have left a group that is in reality mainly unemployed persons given other labels to hide the true extent of unemployment. DPB is unemployment for mothers . Invalids is dole for disabled folk. The extra allowances are mainly for working people who do not get paid enough. So we have mass unemployment and large companies that do not pay proper wages because the current government has arranged this for the tax payer to fund.
13/09/2012 8:00:09 a.m.
Remember all who have a go at beneficiaries are only one step away from also being unemployed. How about (women)if your partner left you, you are now a solo mother, how close to being on a sickness benefit, and not and ACC one?. Sure there are lots of people who rip the system off but the majority don't. Hey Brian, its not easy to plant a garden when your landlord won't let you do so. By the way I am employed, but have had a few on and off time on unemployment. I would not like to go back on it but who can say what the future will hold. Paula Bennett has been in the media spotlight for a whole month with her "reforms" yet not one is for the creation of jobs, or any real help, just making out how much they are all costing us. In doing that, all beneficiares are made the scapegoat for where government money is "wasted", how about the amount of politicans we have or the cost of the cars, meals, subsidies for housing, flights etc. We need to look at the whole picture and not pick on one group of recipients of govenment(our taxes) money.
13/09/2012 6:33:31 a.m.
The so-called targeted group are those targeted by political groups themselves who are banned from jobs and other resources. Some are ex prisoners others are activists, and dissidents.
The political agencies targeted these people then blame them.
Besides, the government has now posted a record unemployment rate over 9 percent and counting.
12/09/2012 7:52:32 p.m.
Literally all of which is invested immediately back into the economy, stimulating it and creating jobs and growth. But hey screw those lazy poor people am I right.
12/09/2012 7:20:58 p.m.
Katrina you criticise labour for absolutely everything regardless of whether its good policy or bad and automatically support National regardless of what policy is.
Why even post.
Sure labour has issues.. but National has far more issues.
Poverty in this country became entrenched because of National in the 1990's academics around the world and in the country all admitt this.
The OECD also came out with shocking statistics showing that the wealth gap in New Zealand was the largest in the OECD... that said this was because of two reasons... top earner tax cuts and welfare restrictions.
The biggest cause of poverty in the country has and always will be the National Party.
12/09/2012 7:17:08 p.m.
Why doesn't Paula get in the press for creating jobs, helping people or actually making a difference....because she'd rather use unhelpful reports to create hatred against a group of people who are clearly having a tough time. Being on a benefit is poverty yet people act like those on it really want to be there...how about a survey of beneficaries, how about you actually ask people on a benefit if they want to be where they are? I think the super issue is a good point, because if people went around hassling the elderly, it would be called a breach of human rights, yet beneficiaries are treated like the scum of the earth. I think attitudes need an overhaul, and beneficaries need help to get out of their situation, rather than just being judged and bullied. So I ask again...where are the jobs John Key? The answer is, people are unemployed on benefits because there are no jobs!!! It is simple and I didn't ask for $800,000 to answer that question.
12/09/2012 7:02:16 p.m.
A lot has changed in the last 70 years! Planting a garden is not always easy or possible, and many people would have little idea of what to do. Also the idea that beneficiaries are all dopeheads and boozers is another myth spread by this govt so it can stigmatise beneficiaries. This govt is doing untold damage to NZ families through their economic policies and then they hit them again with their beneficiary bashing and concocted accountants reports. All this is just manipulation typical of low-life totalitarian regimes. Sickening.
12/09/2012 6:43:41 p.m.
labour criticise everything and I suppose that is their job, they are just jealous they didn't do more when they had their chance
12/09/2012 6:42:08 p.m.
The real problem isnt the welfare that is listed its the welfare that isnt listed, National Superannuation cost as much as all of these benefits combined.. and that cost is set to skirocket out of control.
There are ways of lightening these benefits.. such as creating employment.... as opposed to flooding the job market and creating no jobs which is Nationals favorite past time.
National Super costs are set to double in the very near future.. and the super scheme is uncontrolled... millionairs can get it, those still working can get it, those on other retirement schemes can still get it.
You take the pension away from those people and they still have incomes.
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