PM says she is against a work for the dole scheme

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water on the work for the dole scheme pushed by Shane Jones because she doesn’t think there is any dignity in working for the dole. They must be paid the minimum wage she has declared. I have a question…

Is there any dignity in getting handouts for free when you are capable of working for a living?


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government’s work scheme to help young people into jobs will not be a work-for-the-dole scheme because they will be paid at least the minimum wage.

And she is not endorsing Regional Development Minister Shane Jones’ wish to compel young beneficiaries into work and cutting their benefit if they refuse […]

If they are paid minimum wage instead of the dole I suspect that there will be no need for compulsion as financially they will be substantially better off and the incentive will work on even the most work shy. Once they get used to working they may even gain a work ethic and some drive and ambition due to the confidence they will gain. The main problem I see is them having no incentive to move on. The number of people on the scheme could increase every year as they choose to stay and the cost of the scheme will balloon.

Yesterday Jones said he would take four projects to Cabinet for his Working For Your Country scheme before Christmas, which will give beneficiaries a chance to stop “sitting on the couch” and work for minimum wage in industries such as tree planting, riparian planting or developing railway tourism.

[…] She [ Ardern] likened it to Labour’s Ready For Work programme, which targeted 10,000 NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) for six months’ work in Government-supported environmental or community projects.

[…] Work-for-the-dole had a number of problems, “not least that you’re undercutting people who are in paid employment”.

That right there is the real reason why Labour will not support it. The Unions control Labour and they will never support people working for the dole. At RadioNZ CTU president Richard Wagstaff said,

What we do support is the creation of decent work options for people who are unemployed, so they no longer have to go and look for work that doesn’t exist.” 

That comment makes me think that he sees the scheme as the creation of permanent work rather than a way to prepare people for work. If that is what Labour actually intends they will be able to declare that there is no longer any unemployment in New Zealand because the government has employed them all.

I remember one other party that did that in Germany. All the unemployed were put to work on government projects like the massive public-works program that produced the autobahn [highway system], and housing, railroad and navigation projects.The rest were employed by the army. Unemployment was wiped out within 4 years. Massive borrowing was required to achieve it.

-NZ Herald


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