The Dim-Post

May 30, 2011

WWG redux

Filed under: policy — danylmc @ 8:06 pm

NZPA via Stuff:

Prime Minister John Key says proposed reforms of the welfare sector will be rolled out in the lead up to the general election, but changes will mean that if people can work, they must.

The Welfare Working Group’s final report, released in February, gave the Government 43 recommendations to reform the welfare system into a work-focused programme.

He had now asked ministers to look at the group’s recommendations and develop a comprehensive package of welfare reform.

The Government would announce policies in due course and campaign on them.

“It’s important we signal to New Zealanders that if we are afforded a second term that there will be reform in welfare.”

However, while ruling out the one recommendation he had earlier indicated was unpalatable, he would not go into detail on the remaining 42 recommendations.

Just to recap, the welfare model recommended by the Welfare Working Group was:

  • Abolish the DPB, Sickness and Invalid benefits and roll them all up into a single unemployment benefit called a ‘Jobseekers Benefit. So paranoid schizophrenics are Jobseekers, paraplegics are Jobseekers, solo mothers at home with three children are Jobseekers, ect.
  • Privatise the entire welfare system (the Working Group consisted of a bunch of ACT Party members and representatives of private sector welfare companies). All welfare recipients are managed by private companies that bid for tenders.
  • Those private companies are incentivised to move Jobseekers into paid employment as quickly as possible.
  • They’re empowered to enroll Jobseekers into compulsory work schemes and reduce or cease payment of their benefits if they see fit.

This might sound radical, and likely to cause massive pain and suffering and a return to a pre-1930s social model but it IS predicted to reduce the total number of beneficiaries by 100,000. Which happens to be the number that Labour reduced the total number of beneficiaries by when they were in office, before the economy went south, and is a lot less than the 170,000 new jobs Treasury forecasts over the next four years.


  1. And what was the number by which Labour increased those receiving ACC ‘benefits’ during the same period?

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — May 30, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  2. It might seem radical, but when you consider that the alternative is burning beneficiaries in a Wickerman (or Wickermen) to revive the economy, it’s rather mainstream. Certainly more cost effective.

    Comment by The PC Avenger — May 30, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  3. Well, what was that number “Adolf”? Assuming you have a point.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — May 30, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

  4. The Dim Post seems to be getting more hysterical by the day, I predict it’s hysteria levels will equal those of Tumeke! and The Standard(!) by November.

    Comment by Bed Rater — May 30, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

  5. any number adolf mentions is fictional. because to claim ACC money you have to injure yourself.

    this suggests that unless labour went around injuring people, they would not be increasing ACC claimants.

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 30, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  6. Yep…lets keep em dependant and addicted to welfare…..the left…compassion at its best.

    Comment by James — May 30, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  7. “any number adolf mentions is fictional. because to claim ACC money you have to injure yourself.”

    Equally, to get ACC compensation for “loss of earnings”, you must have lost earnings. And a benefit don’t count. So even if Labour was injuring beneficiaries in an effort to bring down beneficiary numbers (which I assume AF was implying), it wouldn’t have worked.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 30, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  8. James,

    People are making fun of you over on the “ach du” thread. Go get ’em, tiger!

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 30, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  9. As,opposed to forcing people into modern day workhouses by virtue of there not being enough work to go around? Okay!

    Comment by The PC Avenger — May 30, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  10. This could seriously affect NZ/China relationships.
    As wages rise in China all these available “job seekers” must be very appealing to
    Chinese capitalists.

    The global village reaches out to NZ and we succumb to the same level of economic wealth distribution as
    our glorious Asian and Pacific neighbours.

    Don Brash will be pleased.

    I am sure John Key will love having Nike open a “factory” in his electorate.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — May 30, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  11. I’ve been procrastinating a lot lately. But now I feel deeply motivated to work harder so that I’ll never have to go on welfare. Obviously, i’m also planning ot be very careful with my contraception and not have any accidents, mental illnesses, or seriously debilitating physical health problems.

    Comment by Amy — May 30, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

  12. I think Adolf actually means transferring people onto the Private Training Provider books of Helens all conquering “Knowledge Wave”. That was the major way in which Labour cooked the bene numbers. Sickness beneficiary numbers were targeted for reduction because the long term unemployed scammed their way onto sickness bene’s to get better payouts and less scrutiny (or were assisted by WINZ staff to help their long term unemployment bene reduction count up).

    Comment by will — May 30, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

  13. Will: Got anything to back that up? Journal articles, newspaper clippings, or perhaps something just picked straight out of the air by that fancy tin-foil hat?

    Comment by Simon Poole — May 30, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  14. Love you too Simon. mwha mwha.

    However when you unknot your panties and sit down try taking a look at:
    Student Loans and Allowances: 2007 – Tables
    Tab 8&9
    Section Total Number of Enrolments in Year(1)

    ’98 – ’07


    Comment by will — May 30, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

  15. Not sure I agree with your summary of the WWG, or the contention that the world is about to end.

    Having different benefits creates incentives to move people from one to the other. In particular, it is hard for a sickness beneficiary to go back into work without running the risk that if it goes wrong they may end up on the (lower) dole. This is a significant disincentive for them to return to the workforce, and for many sickness beneficiaries they can in fact work. At a time when our population is the healthiest in our history, we have more sickness beneficiaries than at any time in our history. So something is broken. A unified benefit makes sense, demonising it on the basis that people might be labeled “jobseekers” seems a bit silly. Any comments on the substance?

    If the entire welfare system was privatised, wouldn’t that turn it into unemployment insurance? I think you mean that the bit where people are helped back into work was being privatised, I’m pretty sure the bit where unemployed people are paid a benefit is still done by govt.

    I’m not clear what the problem is with the organisations that are supposed to….help people back into work….are incentivised to….move people back into work. I don’t get your concern here?

    Comment by PaulL — May 30, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  16. Will, you say “the long term unemployed scammed their way onto sickness bene’s”, and then provide statistics about education. Obviously WINZ needed to retrain their employees to deal with the complex operation of hiding the lack of sickness, but still transferring the recipient.

    Or perhaps you’re castigating them for trying to upskill all those dole bludgers? Only way they can get them lazy bastards off the unemployment benefit is to fudge the numbers, after all, so retraining must be a waste of money…

    Comment by Nick — May 30, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

  17. Nick try reading “I think Adolf actually means transferring people onto the Private Training Provider books of Helens all conquering “Knowledge Wave”. That was the major way in which Labour cooked the bene numbers.”

    I’d love to furnish excruciating Stats NZ details for every comment I make but no-one else does so quite frankly don’t see why I should pander to you.

    Comment by will — May 31, 2011 @ 12:19 am

  18. The old game of shifting people from one benfit to another has been going on for years in every country that provides a Govt funded safty net. One mob shifts the jobless to disability and cries “Look ! We’re so much better we’ve made unemployment go down” ,the next lot shifts them back from disability to unemployed again with cries of “get out and work”. It doesn’t matter if its left wing or right wing , seen it in France, the UK (twice by the same Govt !! ), most countries in the EU and now here. Same shit being moved around.
    Which leads me to my question. IMHO in EVERY country there is a rump of, for a better term, useless section of society. Not sick, at least nothing that has a medical definition, just completly hopeless and useless individuals. Unemployable, dead from the neck up, serious BO issues and facial hair that grows in blotches. Nice enough to chat to but you wouldnt let them wash yer car. Been on every single Govt. funded course and training scheme and just fail at everything. HIM, you know, that spotty bloke yer mate hangs round with sometimes and gives the wife the shivers.

    What do we do , as a society about “them”. Do we just keep paying them off and shuffling them about on the statistics. By my completely uneducated /no proof what so ever, guesstimate I’d say that the there are several thousand of “them” up and down the country. Don’t belive me , go to Pak’n’Save on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon , about 2 pm. David Attenborough could do a whole series.
    If we can crack the problem of the unemployable I honestly believe that everthing else will fall into place.

    Comment by Andy C — May 31, 2011 @ 2:11 am

  19. Will try reading “Or perhaps you’re castigating them for trying to upskill all those dole bludgers?”

    From 1997 to 2005 the number of enrollments did increase, though the single biggest percentage increase was under National from 1998 to 1999 (12.7%). Unemployment numbers rose in 2000 then began to drop. But they kept dropping even after enrollments peaked. In fact, the second largest percentage drop in unemployment during this period came in 2007, when enrollment numbers were starting to slide.

    Maybe all that training meant these people were more likely to find work?

    Comment by Nick — May 31, 2011 @ 2:25 am

  20. Will: current Aus. govt policy is to aim to have 40% of the Aus. population go through some form of tertiary education – they must have one motherfucker of a dole bludger problem over there, I guess…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — May 31, 2011 @ 7:25 am

  21. I’m not clear what the problem is with the organisations that are supposed to….help people back into work….are incentivised to….move people back into work. I don’t get your concern here?

    Let’s say you have a stroke. Under the current system you get a Medical Certificate and then go on the sickness or invalids benefits, depending on the severity of your condition.

    Under the WWG model there is no medical certificate and no sickness or invalids benefit. There’s just a private company incentivised to get you back into the workforce as quickly as possible, who are empowered to enroll you in compulsory job schemes and cancel your payments if you don’t show up. Do you really not have any concerns about a system like that? You don’t see ways for that model to ‘go wrong’ somewhere?

    Comment by danylmc — May 31, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  22. Andy C – good rant, i particularly liked the way you clearly delineated ‘us’ and ‘them’. However, given the wwg proposal has sterilisation for ‘them’ in it already, you’re going to have to lift your game to godwin the thread.

    Comment by greg — May 31, 2011 @ 8:50 am

  23. A few observations.

    Firstly, I am not sure if Key was just being his usual lazy and thoughtless self this morning or being deliberately divisive with his use of the “us and them” language on Radio New Zealand this morning. I fear it was just a frank revelation of how he views beneficiaries.

    Secondly, given the role of Steven Joyce and the increasing prominence of Simon Lusk (described by the SST as an expert in negative campaigning) in the National election campaign team I think another plank of National’s 2011 election strategy just came into focus. The poor will be objectified, and made the targets of an us and them group hate. Have we ever had such a government of calculated and cynics in our history? Hollow men indeed!

    Fourthly, it is funny how the minute Key mentioned his plan to return the arbitrarily decided undeserving poor to the nineteenth century a pile of well and informed and previously mostly unheard commentators appear on blogs such as this one to strenuously try and divert or troll the debate. John Pagani seems to be of the opinion that Beehive staffers with multi identities Astroturf blogs that political journalists interview. I wonder if there is any way for a real journalist to find out if this is the case.

    Finally, I said the other day that the voter cognitive dissonance on the government is being stretched to breaking point, with people professing to hate National’s policies but somehow still support them because they like John Key. These reforms will certainly be popular with our upper class, the talkback Taliban and certain individuals with work in supermarkets, live with their mums and have a copy of Atlas Shrugged next to their glass of water on the bedside table (not looking at you James or anything). The question for the left is how popular the dismantling of the welfare state as proposed by the WWG will be with the wider voter constituency. If they prove to be if not popular then at least acquiesced to by the majority of voters then we can safely say the 1935 Labour governments inheritance is gone, the argument that a compliant and conservative trade union movement and Labour party is justified because it seeks to defend a status quo is dead in the water and the left has to start seeking radical means to oppose radical and oppressive class warfare by the ruling elite.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 31, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  24. Fourthly? that is the second time today my basic arithmetic has let me down…

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 31, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  25. Have you considered a job at treasury Sanc? I know there’ll be ideological difficulties to overcome, but I’m sure you’ll learn better after a few years exposed to the best and brightest.

    Comment by Greg — May 31, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  26. re labour “transferring people to private training providers” and this being a “bad thing”.

    isn’t this exactly what bennett proposing? job schemes to get people into the workforce?

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 31, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  27. There isn’t a single party in parliament with a commitment to full employment. By which I mean, that there are (real, as in paid at least the minimum wage doing productive work) jobs for every able bodied person in the country. It’s hard for even a moderately skilled person to get a job. There are more vacant than vacancies.

    NZ had 1% unemployment in the past for long periods of time. It also had 7-10% unemployment. These are both ideological decisions. Anyone who tells you that one or the other is inevitable is lying.

    Comment by Giraffe — May 31, 2011 @ 9:48 am

  28. Will: I could look at the same numbers and use them to show the increasing prevalence of wealthy families to hide their income in order for their children to get the student allowance. God knows I have actually seen it happen, which is a damn sight more than yourself or Adolph can claim about sickness beneficiaries.

    You can’t use a number as blunt as “number of people signing up for a student allowance” as proof of, well… anything. Shit, it’s probably only loosely indicative of the number of people receiving a student allowance, given how many pull out of study early or fail half their papers and subsequently have their access removed. Hell, it’s not even clear if the statistic given is for the number of Loans/allowances approved, or the number applied for.

    But please, do tell us where you got this amazing knowledge that WINZ have systematically been shifting off the sickness benefit and into tertiary education in order to fudge the numbers.

    Comment by Simon Poole — May 31, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  29. Re Andy’s comments at 2.11am (in vino bullshittus anyone) I’m inclined to Sanctuary’s assessment that comments like this are from trolls, and, it would appear from a completely uneducated/ no proof whatsoever basis, trolls from a very dark slimy place under the bridge. The “us and them” mentality, the use of degrading comments about beneficiaries’ supposed appearance, the bold assertions about their lack of intelligence, the sexist nature of his comments (or is he reserving another post for women? – DPB bashing anyone?) all combine to give a picture of a commentator who has the self satisfied smugness of a Pharisee outside the temple who thanks god that he is not like others – and all done on the basis of supermarket observations on Tuesday and Thursdays. Voila!
    I have hung around with people with attitudes like yours Andy, and although their appearance, facial hair or skin condition is irrelevant, they still give my wife (and me) the shivers.
    As to the question as to what “we” do about “them” – Andy, here are no “them” – it’s all “us” – remembering that you can’t use the Thatcher cop-out – you used the word society.

    Comment by John Thomson — May 31, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  30. Sanctuary is getting very excited about the prospect of a class war. Sanc, will you eat that rat and vote National to ensure a groundswell of working class support for a glorious workers revolution?

    Comment by will — May 31, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  31. @ will 10:55 pm, PaulL 11:36 pm

    The sickness benefit and the dole pay at the same rate, so there is no financial incentive for people to move from UB to SB. But don’t let the facts get in the way of the prejudices, huh?

    As for it being “less hassle” being on SB, it is actually more. Sickness beneficiaries have to regularly renew their medical certificates, and pay for the cost of that out of their benefits.

    Comment by toad — May 31, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  32. I remember the good old days when there were so few people out of work that the minister for social development knew all the people on the unemployment benefit by name.

    The number of people on the dole is at a 28-year low, the Government has said.

    Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson said that in December 1999, when Labour came to power, there were 161,000 people receiving an unemployment benefit.

    “Over 141,000 have come off this benefit since then, with just over 20,000 people receiving it now,” she said.

    “These numbers haven’t been this low since 1979. In addition, this government has radically reduced youth unemployment numbers.”

    Comment by taranaki — May 31, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  33. “Sanctuary is getting very excited about the prospect of a class war…”

    John Key’s announcement that he is going to get a baseball bat and find himself a beneficiary to bash to death isn’t class war? Then what is? When the beneficiary tries to grab the bat in self defence?

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 31, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  34. The vast majority of people want to work, and if there are jobs, they’ll work. This was borne out under the last government (whether you choose to credit them with the low unemployment stats or not is irrelevant). Andy C was merely pointing out that there is almost certainly a rump of beneficiaries that conform to the stereotype of the irredeemable dole bludger, and I agree with him. The problem is that for some people – like those in the current government – *all* beneficiaries fit that stereotype, and that’s where we have problems. To be perfectly honest I’m willing to accept that a small number of career beneficiaries take advantage of the system, because I don’t think there are that many in relative terms, and gutting the welfare system just to try and squash them harms all of us should we ever need to fall back on that system.

    No system will ever be perfect. Just as we will never get all the drunks off the road or all the wife beaters in prison, we will never get all the bludgers off the benefit. It is impossible. We can merely try to mitigate the harm that people like that do to the rest of the country, and using sledgehammers to crush those nuts isn’t the way to do it. John Key: if you want to get people off benefits, create some damn jobs!

    Comment by Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber — May 31, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  35. It’s really simple. Policy announced prior to election.

    If the electorate doesn’t like it, vote national out before said policies are enacted.

    Stop whining and get rid of the “we know best” attitude. Put up better alternatives and vote national out. But stop with the patronizing “the people don’t know what’s best for themselves, it’s up to us to save them”.

    Comment by Nadis — May 31, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  36. Nadis, that’s the attitude that the current government has towards beneficiaries. I’m not sure how that isn’t incredibly obvious to you.

    Comment by The PC Avenger — May 31, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  37. Re: Sickness and Invalids Beneficiaries circa Labour government:

    “As part of the Working New Zealand: Work-Focused Support Programme, the Ministry put into practice a number of changes in September 2007 to improve how it determined eligibility for sickness and invalids’ benefits, and to actively manage cases through regular and effective contact with people receiving those benefits. The aim of the changes was to provide appropriate services and support to beneficiaries so that any who might be able to work (full-time or part-time) could prepare for, make the transition to, and stay in work. By 2010/11, the changes were expected to result in savings of $49 million each year.”


    (Plus plenty more information on what was introduced and why – if anyone cares about the rationale, as opposed to the enduring wisdom of those who frequent talkback radio)

    Comment by Pete — May 31, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  38. By the way, I’m quite sick of this B.S. ‘mandate’ meme (i.e. c/o Nadis).

    – I’m a swing voter, and
    – I like how the National Party presents its policy on education (enough to vote for them on this single issue, say, because I have an interest in the education sector), and
    – I dislike every other policy they present, and
    – I don’t like, or am apathetic about every other political party…

    Have I given National a mandate for sweeping Welfare reforms?

    ‘Cause I reckon this may well go down on Election Day for some – jus’ sayin’.

    Comment by Pete — May 31, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  39. Pete: Unfortunately, we live in a representative democracy (as opposed to a direct democracy) and by giving your vote to a politician you are entrusting them to exercise their judgement in Parliament, whether that be in regards to education or welfare. There is also little excuse if they have campaigned on an issue for people who vote for them to then say “but I didn’t vote for that.” Because they did.

    Ergo, if the Nats get 50%, then they are effectively entitled to do pretty much anything they campaigned on.

    Comment by Simon Poole — May 31, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  40. People who are unemployed have to take responsibility for looking and doing things to stay work ready, but the phenomenon of unemployment is also about the ability of business to create jobs, and the economy to support job rich businesses.
    For instance perhaps tax breaks should be given to businesses that employ a lot of fulltime people relative to their turnover/size.
    Privatising state supervision of the jobless will not actually create a couple of hundred thousand jobs, but maybe if some of the pot of money paid out in benefits could be got to those employers who take on extra staff we could make a dent, and the people taking responsibility for reducing unemployment would be employers, who are the most qualified to do so.

    Comment by Michael — May 31, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  41. Thanks Simon.

    That’s my point.

    When John Key and Bill English stand up in the House and say “if you don’t like how we’ve floated partial asset sales, don’t vote for us in the General Election” that’s not what people are going to be thinking.

    Instead they may be thinking “that John Key seems pretty nice, and I did get a bit of a tax cut last time”, but not really about a mandate for partial asset sales.

    It’s disingenous for the powers-that-be to present it that way.

    Comment by Pete — May 31, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

  42. Pete: Then that is why we have an opposition. If people go into the voting booth thinking about Key’s nice smile then we deserve what we get.

    Comment by Simon Poole — May 31, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  43. Pete – Simon’s point plus I reiterate what I said earlier. It is very arrogant for you to make the assumption that voters are stupid and only people as brilliant as you really know what is going on. You may have had a partial case under FPP, but remember, PR is the answer to ideological governements ramming through unpopular measures without telling the voters ahead of time.

    If you don’t like what National are proposing vote them out – the mandate argument is irrelevant. We know Nationals plans on welfare reform, taxation, ChCh reconstruction, asset sales, new BMW’s for ministers, educational reforms, early childcare funding, health sector policies, seabed and foreshore, Afghanistan etc etc.

    Tell me again how

    a) they have secret plans to implement unpopular policies
    b) its only about John Key smiling and waving

    Comment by nadis — May 31, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  44. Why is this one thread so toxic?

    Comment by lyndon — May 31, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  45. Michael @ 40 “For instance perhaps tax breaks should be given to businesses that employ a lot of fulltime people relative to their turnover/size.”
    Great idea! All architects, dentists, legal practices and accounting firms applaud you!

    The adults who compete for jobs with youngsters were mightly pleased with the abolution of youth rates (although your jury is still out on this, I know).

    Once again:
    “We’re talking about people [liberals] who basically judge themselves and each other based on intentions, not on results.” – John Goodman

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 31, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  46. Thanks Nadis.

    Paranoid much?

    I never said who I was for or against, I just offered up a proposition and a question.

    Truth is, people, ‘brilliant’ or otherwise vote on the information they receive, and consider it based on what they believe is relevant to their decision-making. This happens to busy people as much as brilliant, stupid, pregnant, delusional or albino people. I wasn’t passing judgement – as you were.

    If we flip around what they stated – i.e. “if you do like how we’ve floated partial asset sales, do vote for us in the General Election” and then call “mandate” i humbly think that’s B.S.

    You can take it or leave it, but my personal opinion is that it’s a bit shit to base a mandate for changes like this on votes for what, in all honesty, are unrelated issues – whether that be Key’s presentation, or any other thing.

    Comment by Pete — May 31, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  47. “Why is this one thread so toxic?”

    Is it?

    Although if it became that it could be because the topic is about moving from the late 1930s social welfare model to one largely in line with or recommended by the OECD.

    Or to quote from NBR on an OECD report making such recommendations:

    “Efforts have been made in some countries to extend the coverage and, in some cases, the maximum duration of benefits to provide a more effective safety net. The report says such measures should be carefully designed so as to minimise adverse effects on work incentives which could lengthen the joblessness spell.

    Governments should be taking proactive action to stem the rising tide, such as in return for receiving benefits and being offered re-employment services, recipients are required to participate in job search, training or employment programmes, enforced by the threat of benefit sanctions.”

    Since the glory days of MJS and Peter Frazer we have tended to “park” our economy and social welfare policies and regard the changes forced on the other Western nations as punishment of the working class.


    Comment by JC — May 31, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  48. Oh, I see. It’s because nobody knows what they’re talking about.

    Comment by lyndon — May 31, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  49. Hear that Sanctuary, it is NOT 1935 anymore and there is NOT a class war taking place.

    Comment by will — May 31, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  50. Oh right Will, just because you say so? OK the wise guy, how do YOU explain tax cuts for the rich and work houses for the poor as an economic policy?

    “…Or to quote from NBR on an OECD report making such recommendations…”

    Quoting from bastions of centrist policy making I see.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 31, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  51. Ladies and gentlemen, i give you Will’s friends and fellow travellers…

    The money quote for you to print out and stick on the wall Will – “…Welfare has not only destroyed those dreams, it has created many thousands of victims who have been preyed upon by the social welfare creation – criminals.”

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 31, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  52. Thanks Sanctuary, that post is hilarious. Oh McVicar, what will you do next?

    Comment by Simon Poole — May 31, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  53. And has no one factored in the possibility that workers who feel their jobs are on a knife-edge could be a lot more bolshie about being laid off, if they fear that redundancy means sleeping in a tent? The rash of boss-napping in France a couple of years back was just an inkling of that.

    Most agree the welfare system needs modernising, but it’s nowhere near as simple as cutting, running, and bugger the torpedoes. In a worst case scenario, the weak poor starve to death, the strong poor survive by any means necessary, and those at the top hide behind razor wired comfort blankets. Look at parts of Bolivia, Peru and South Africa for an idea.

    Comment by DeepRed — May 31, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  54. Details are different, but that angle from G McV isn’t new. I’ve nopted it myself.

    I’m reminded, perhap irrelevently, of the period back in ’06 when Marc Alexander was made their ‘crime prevention’ spokesman. The arrangement went to pot, apparently because Alexander was standing for National in the election but also that day McVicar and Alexander both put out quickfire intemperate responses to whatever announcment it was, the spins of said responses being somewhat contradictory.

    What Would a Royal Commission Achieve: Watchdog
    Call for Enquiry into Justice System Overdue
    Alexander Resigns from Trust

    Anyway, the “S”ST: not very deep thinkers on crime prevention.

    Comment by lyndon — May 31, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  55. Those fellas aren’t exactly justice ‘watchdogs’, as their effective denial of David Garrett’s wrongding went to show. They’re more akin to class-apartheid apologists.

    Comment by DeepRed — May 31, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  56. People get the government they deserve; but there’s also collateral damage of the people who get the government other, more stupid people, deserve.

    If I hadn’t seen it and heard it with my own eyes and ears – from well-educated colleages, too – then I wouldn’t believe that the entire economic and social problems of New Zealand fall at the feet of a few long term beneficiaries and solo mothers.

    But apparently they do. People are either really stupid, or they actually think that this tiny group is somehow responsible for the downfall of an entire country. In which case, they’re really stupid.

    Of course, when you combine that group with civil servants, unions and teachers, it’s fairly simple to see how people are really fucking stupid.

    So my question: where do I go to get the government I deserve?

    Comment by Dizzy — May 31, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

  57. (via EUReferendum blog)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 31, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  58. Dizzy at 56,

    Well, you also get those 400,000 odd “Rich Pricks” who are supposedly ruining the economy with their tax cuts. In fact those on +$70,000 got 25% of the tax cuts 2008-2011.

    It appears to be human nature for people to argue the extremes.. so as to protect the position of the majority between.


    Comment by JC — May 31, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  59. @Dizzy: it’s known as wedge politics. The same reasons John Howard & Dubya managed to polish turds – and get away with it.

    Comment by DeepRed — May 31, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  60. In follow up to my earlier rant 🙂 where I explictly made no comments about single mums, or bene bashing, because that wasn’t the point of the post here’s the feckless wonderboy I had in mind. Posterboy of the useless.
    “The father, who has met most of his conquests at bus stops, claims £68.95 per week in disability benefits because he has a bad back” not bloody surprised.
    How the hell do you make the likes of him a usefull contributor to any society. If you google the name you get more back stories from a couple of years ago when he had only fathered 7 kids and walked out of his last job.

    Comment by Andy C — June 1, 2011 @ 2:07 am

  61. Danyl , yer clock is still in summer time.

    Comment by Andy C — June 1, 2011 @ 2:08 am

  62. @Andy C

    Not disputing some people are lost causes, but the Daily Mail is less reliable than the Onion (the Onion is at least reliably satirical). They quite happily change everything but the name and face of the people involved, including their address, personal history, words, and REAL relationships with each other.

    Comment by flynn_the_cat — June 1, 2011 @ 3:00 am

  63. Relevant marriedtothesea for bonus points:

    Comment by Greg — June 1, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  64. I’d take with a grain of salt any publication that’s gullible enough to believe in Elders of Mecca tin-foil hattery.

    Comment by DeepRed — June 1, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

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