Work for the dole is a good idea but they should not get minimum wage

via 3 news

I have always been a fan of work for the dole schemes but to succeed they have two big hurdles to overcome. The first hurdle is the unions. When you create new work or enter the market to compete with existing workers they do not like being undercut or having what they see as their work being taken away. They also will demand that the minimum wage is paid even though the purpose of the work for the dole scheme is to get them work ready and to not ruin them by giving them money for nothing.

Teacher unions saw Partnership schools as a threat and actively campaigned against them even though they were designed to help disadvantaged students. No matter what work for the dole schemes this new government come up with I feel sure that the unions in that sector will not be happy even though it will benefit those currently on the dole.

The Government will consider four Work For The Dole-type schemes before Christmas that will compel young people not in work or training to “get off the couch”.

On TVNZ”s Q + A programme this morning, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said he would take four proposals to Cabinet in the coming weeks.

Asked if they were Work For The Dole schemes, Jones said: “I love the idea, and by Christmas, I am going to have announced at least four projects.

“They’ll be made to go to work, and where it is necessary, to pay them. They’ll have to receive a minimum wage, but there will be no more sitting on the couch.[…]

This is the second hurdle for the government as paying the new minimum wage of $20 an hour will blow out the welfare budget. Also, it will disincentivise people to move off the dole into real work elsewhere. They will need to be supervised and transported to the beach they are to clean up or the area where they are to start planting those billion trees the government has promised. In the old days when people worked for the dole, they were provided with very basic accommodation while they were planting trees. There will be many extra costs associated with the scheme and paying the minimum wage should not be one of them. If they want the dole they should do the work and if they don’t work they don’t get paid which is just how it is for the rest of us. It will make them work ready and will get them used to getting up each morning.

[…] “Read my lips – I’m sick and tired of watching the ne’er-do-well nephs sitting on the couch doing nothing, and I, as a Maori politician and a Maori leader, I’m not going to tolerate it any longer.” […]

-NZ Herald

I wish Shane Jones luck with his plans but I suspect that the unions will kill his ideas before they even get off the ground.

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