Arbeit macht frei

Last week, to much howling from the left, Paula Bennett implemented some much needed welfare reforms. Other countries are also moving on welfarism and we shouldn’t pretend that we have a monopoly on good ideas. If Chris Trotter can invokeArbeit macht frei” then the least we can do is look at what they are doing in Germany about welfarism.

Some of these ideas have merit.

Eat less meat, drink tap water and sell your old furniture – a brochure published by a German job centre has been criticised for offering benefit claimants a series of bizarre money-saving tips.

The tips are included in a booklet featuring a cartoon family called the Fischers, which was published by a job centre in Pinneberg, a town in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany.

The father of the family, Knut Fischer, a 51-year-old office clerk, faces having to go on reduced benefits after being unemployed for one and a half years.

The booklet shows the family discussing how to save money, and coming up with suggestions including not eating meat for a week. Mr Fischer’s daughter Laura declares: “I wanted to be a vegetarian anyway.”

A scene in a supermarket features the mother of the family being advised by a friend not to put bottled water in her trolley but drink tap water instead.

Bloody good ideas, they aren’t bizarre in the least.

Reports in the German press triggered a flurry of interest in the brochure, according to the job centre, which said the booklet had been downloaded 15,000 times by noon on Thursday. The day before, the download count stood at less than 200.

No doubt the press were trying to create outrage.

Tips from the job centre brochure:

1. Don’t go shopping while hungry, as you end up with more food in your trolley than you can eat.

2. Don’t leave electronic devices on stand-by.

3. Buy supermarket own-brand detergents as they are cheaper than expensive branded products.

4. Save water by installing modern flushes in old toilet cisterns.

5. Take showers instead of baths.


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  • Johnny T

    No surprises there, the welfare systems in a lot of European countries are simply unsustainable, indeed those very systems are part of the reason why Europe is doing so poorly economically at the moment.

  • Kopua Cowboy

    Not sure about point #2, our computer uses less in standby than starting it up all the time

    However! All good common sense stuff.

  • John.Doe.2013

    Cue outrage from Sue Bradford,Minto,Hone and their kind. How dare the state seek to educate beneficiaries ? That is degrading! What modern government dares to enforce some sort of social obligation or social contract on those citizens it supports! Fear not outraged citizens, vote mana to ensure continued social welfare dependencies ! Huge irony yet to dawn on those plonked – bludgers can’t be arsed to vote…duh !!!!

    • Dave

      Tell you what Sue, Hone etc, you get them all off the benefit, all of them, and the state then has very little influence over how they can spend their own money. They can spend as much as they like on detergent, hot water, meat, cars etc etc. Until then, they can get f’d NZinc will tell them how to spend the funds it hands them, if they dont like being told, they can refuse the money!

      Novel ideas indeed.

  • Col

    The book here would be showing Hone, Turei ( in another new jacket) showing the benefits of growing pot to help your WINZ benefit go further.
    ps and how to buy a Million dollar home on an income of $400.00 a week.

  • Mediaan

    Yes, good ideas. If you are a vegan you will find you spend almost nothing on food. (That is, no animal products including milk products and eggs). If you are a vegetarian, you spend only a very small amount on food.

  • thor42

    Margaret Thatcher said (IIRC) that “the trouble with being a socialist is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”. The Left either don’t know this or don’t care.

    As for Chris Trotter – I am amazed that he either doesn’t know the above fact or doesn’t care about it. It is a FACT that the people who founded the “welfare state” would be *horrified* that it has got so out of control. I’ll bet you that *they* would support the welfare reforms 100%.

    All that the reforms are doing is ensuring that *those who can work, do work.* What on earth is “wrong” with that?