Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Welfare State

Back in November, I wrote a post on that other inconvenient truth, and the state of welfare dependency in New Zealand. In light of John Key's State of the Nation speech, I've cherry-picked the key recommendations for serious welfare reform:

  1. Requirement for all long-term unemployed to report to Work and Income at 9am daily to collect their benefit. Get them into the habit of getting out of bed.
  2. Pay a bonus of $2,000 to all women who have been on the DPB for more than two years, to get their tubes tied.
  3. Pay bonuses of $1000 to all fathers of welfare-dependent children to have vasectomies.
  4. Pay bonuses of $500 to WINZ staff for moving a long-term beneficiary from welfare into work. Bonus payable after six months of continuous employment by the beneficiary.
  5. Every child receiving welfare must have their father named on birth certificates.
  6. No welfare entitlements to the father of children living with mothers on the DPB.
  7. Non-custodial fathers must be in paid employment, and must make minimum contributions of $50 per week.
  8. Fathers not permitted to leave New Zealand while children living with a dependent DPB beneficiary.
  9. Children must attend school. Non-attendance would lead to the benefit being cancelled.
  10. All children must receive medical check-ups at least every six months, to check on the nutritional and general health status of the child.
  11. Random alcohol and drug checks of long-term welfare beneficiaries.
  12. No violent offenders permitted to live in the same home as children of welfare beneficiaries.
  13. A maximum six months of entitlement to the unemployment benefit in any five year period, and a maximum of two years’ entitlement to the DPB for any person in their lifetime.
  14. Frequent, random checks of homes of welfare dependent children to assess housing needs and compliance.


Sonic said...

So much for libertarianism eh, forced sterilisation, people banned from travelling abroad, random police checks.

Have you joined the Chinese Communist party?

Insolent Prick said...

Ah, Sonic, ever the duplicitous mis-framer of other people's statements! Try and be a little more honest about what I said, if you don't mind.

1. I didn't advocate forced sterilisation. I advocated encouragement for those who clearly cannot stop breeding to become sterilised, via financial inducements to do so.
2. I didn't advocate banning people from travelling abroad. I simply said that people with financial responsibilities to the state vis-a-vis their children's care should not be able abscond by moving overseas. If fathers want to put up a bond covering, say, three years' welfare benefits for their dependent families in advance, that would be a suitable means of discharging their obligations.

3. I didn't advocate random police checks. I have advocated random checks on long-term beneficiary homes by the appropriate welfare agencies. New Zealand is failing society by encouraging the creation of an underclass. Clearly, you are quite happy to see people incapable of looking after children to be encouraged by the state to continue doing so, without any intervention. Good luck with that view. Only the pinko liberals who like to wring their hands and conduct extensive taxpayer-funded research, or sit in well-paid bureaucratic towers agree with you.

GloriaMcAlesse said...

I see the problem with the DPB as two -fold firstly how do you provide a security net for mothers who have been separated/divorced without creating a system that is pretty much an open opportunity for financial security to anyone who can't or won't work.

Secondly, putting rules in place to discourage DPB dependency, inevitably means cancelling benefits for noncompliance. With your recommendations for instance I presume you would cancel benefits under 5, 8,9,11,& 12.

So this is the second problem cancelling benefits might well work but it will create an uproar.


Cactus Kate said...


Totally inspired.

National Party welfare policy committee awaits you.

libertyscott said...

Excellent response. Those who moan about such measures ignore how rabidly inland revenue pursue those forced to pay for welfare.

A few tweaks could address Sonic's concern about travel - pay in advance the entire contribution to the child's upbringing and then you are free to leave.

Also no additional funds for new children while on welfare.

No sickness benefit for those who smoke and reduced ones for those clinically obese (less need for food money).

Finally, no right to claim welfare if convicted of a violent offence, and any unpaid fines are deducted from future welfare payments in full until paid off.

Heine said...

Food stamps would help there too, esp if they cannot be cashed in to purchase booze and cigarettes. It is about time that people get to grips with the word "luxuries".

A year on food stamps will make anybody want to get a proper job.

Insolent Prick said...


The new children on welfare clause is one that many excellent minds have thought about, and should have been number 15. That was an omission on my part.

Agree that paying the entire contribution in advance covers the travel issue.

As per sickness benefits, that is a major area for reform, and quite separate. Far too many people have been transferred to the sickness benefit when they are the main contributor to their illness, or for very spurious reasons. Michael Bassett has written about the changes in sickness benefits at

My own view is that the sickness benefit should be phased out entirely. They should certainly all be work-tested, and the threshhold raised substantially.

On the threshhold for the invalids benefit is really pretty high already, and seems pretty robust. I very much doubt that abuse of the invalid's benefit is wide-spread.

Oswald Bastable said...

We have a new Minster of Welfre Reduction!

BTW, the food stamps need to be non-transferable and linked to photo ID, or they will be traded (at much lower tha face value)-as happens elsewhere.

Oswald Bastable said...


Or should be just 'Rebadge' as Minister of Bludgers!

jcuknz said...

Excellent points except for #13

bar said...

Analysis of your points leads me to believe that you might hold the following views:
a) Children are a luxury for the individual, not an asset of the nation.(2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (8).
b) It would be a good idea to practice eugenics by limiting the breeding potential of the economically useless units.(2), (3), (5).
c) Economic pressure will help persuade bludgers to stop bludging.(1), (4), (6), (8), (13).
d) Intelligence and economic success are congruent.

I note the following factoids:
i) A small percentage (1%-3%) of people are born to be bludgers. Putting bludgers off benefits is just as likely to turn them into petty thieves. (btw, do you really want to stop those people leaving NZ (8)) A better solution might be to give the bludgers enough welfare to survive, let them have access to cheap legal Heroin & similar soporific drugs, and let them vegetate quietly in a slum.
ii) The chief problem for NZ as the boomers retire will be a shortage of labour. Although it is cheaper to bring in immigrants, that solution would change NZ culture (eg. like muslim immigrants do Europe.) Better to encourage the local NZ lumpenproletariat to breed, and attempt to ensure that the offspring don’t become bludgers or criminals or starve. (To achieve that end, I would suggest that NZ pay the parents of all children maintenance from the public purse. If a parent is found to be breaching their duty of care, then the children should be adopted out.)

I appreciate that you do not like to see “your taxes going to support bludgers.” I suggest a paradigm shift. Our social wealth is an inheritance from the great men of history (Newton, Rutherford et al) and the industry of earlier generations. A Nobel winning economist (forget which one) has estimated that about 70% of any high value individual’s wealth derives from inequitable distribution of that social wealth. To redistribute that social wealth, we could maximize the tax on land and other public assets, and distribute that money equally to each person in NZ. We could then dispense with child maintenance, DPB, retirement pensions, unemployment benefits & all the other transfer payments & most of the paid public servants who make sure there is no cheating on transfer payments.

In general I try to avoid the liberal habit of applying a one dimensional solution to problems. Liberal shooters aim where the running prey is, rather than where the prey will be when the ordinance gets there. Like trying to stop violent crime by restricting gun ownership, or stopping wars by eliminating armies, or punishing dictators with trade sanctions.

If you pay somebody only if they aren’t working, then the incentive is to not work. If you pay them whether they work or not, then there will be an incentive to work.

bar said...



Oswald Bastable said...

I prefer to grap the fucker by the balls and unload my ordnance in their face...

Eric Olthwaite said...

"I prefer to grap the fucker by the balls and unload my ordnance in their face..."

Is that your version of the "reacharound" Oswald?

bar said...

Anybody who likes Blade Runner & especially Iain Banks has gotta be one of the good guys.

Anonymous said...


That is truly magnificent, even idiots such as Sonic cannot really see any faults in it, keep up the good work.

Big Bruv

Anonymous said...

I have not long ago left the department not because I didn't like working for MSD but due to personal choice and wanting a change, I do agree with some parts. I agree with bonus for sterilisation but I think there may be some ethical issues around it but, but with the long-term unemployed it's very difficult to work with these clients because no offence to anyone out there but some of them are total vegetables, are almost dyslexic and have no skills what so ever, and attempts to put them into skill gaining courses fail, I have had clients that couldn't give me there address until they went to check the numbers on there letter boxes. I don't agree with punishing them however, just because I don't want to see more homeless people out on the streets there are enough as it is, also sometimes people genuinely do not know who the father of their child is, it's not the childs fault ultimately it's the child that's going to suffer if we refuse payment for them, sometimes the fathers can not work because they are invalids and is most of the time the reason for seperation e.g. phychotic illness that is causing violence, instead of setting time limits for claiming a UB, i think if imposing huge stand downs would be more appropriate for voluntary unemployment (quit job or fired) at present it is 13 weeks i think this could go to 20 weeks or even more, at present outstanding fines to get deducted from the benefit, what we could improve on are loan sharks that prey on clients they are causing huge financial burdens on the clients and a lot of money is going onto temporary additional support payments (TAS) people on a benefit should have some kind of indicator on their credit file, and finally the government is not looking after the people that are actually going out to work and making a living the Working for Families package sucks the payments are not enough and the entry thresholds are to low, the everyday New Zealand family is not able to access enough WFF payments, people with a lot of cash assets but income poor are able to access high payments in some situations because there is a flaw in the system where you can put your cash savings into bonus bonds therefore making it disqualified from cash asset testing due to bonus bonds used to be a government thing now taken over by ANZ but the law didnt change. Its not fair on other people.

peterquixote said...

pull youself together prick, i can't get up at nine to report to winz, can you make that around eleven,

peterquixote said...

also prick with these random drug test, like what happen if we pass test,