COMMENT:

The great failing of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group is that they appear to love it.

Not as in we need a welfare system, but as in we need a bigger one, a more expensive one, and one that almost certainly will see more and more New Zealanders using it, when what we so desperately need is less welfare.

The only good news so far is the Government has, or will, enact three of the myriad of recommendations.

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And even in those three are mistakes. Being able to earn a bit more before abatement is, at least, encouraging people to try.

But not naming fathers, and being allowed to get away with that, merely encourages reprobates who want to skip responsibility an even easier path.

The danger in the thinking of the group is that their answer to the fact the welfare system is broken, which I think most of us to some degree would go along with, is that by simply handing out more free money that makes it better.

They argue people find themselves in dire circumstances.

Good, that then is all the encouragement you need to adjust those circumstances.

Here's what you get when you make welfare too generous. They are recommending a pay rise of up to 47 per cent, and what you get are a group of people who see no reason to do anything, but exist on welfare. We already see it, there are 13,000 more on jobseeker benefits since this Government arrived in power.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says the Government is only accepting three of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group's more than 40 recommendations. Photo / file
Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says the Government is only accepting three of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group's more than 40 recommendations. Photo / file

And the increase is because they've decided not to test jobseekers, not pressure them, not expect them to answer questions, to make an effort, or to actually get a job. Thirteen thousand more in a climate of full employment, 4 per cent unemployment, of a decade of economic prosperity.

How is it even remotely possible that you can have 13,000 more people ready, willing and able to work, and yet miraculously in a job market screaming out for workers, they just can't seem to find anything.

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I'll tell you why, because they can't be bothered. And the Government lets them get away with it, and we pick up the tab. And you don't think that's exactly what will happen, except more often if they get a 47 per cent handout rise?

Welfare, whether it's a direct benefit, or a handcuff benefit like Working for Families, once they get you ensnared in the system, it's insidious.

Welfare has been used by successive governments to enslave increasingly large chunks of our population, free money in return for votes. Vote for more free money, if you vote for the other lot they might cut your money, and who wants that?

Welfare was a safety net.

These days it's a hammock that increasing numbers are more than happy to relax in for ever-increasing periods of time.

The numbers are the truth. A rock star economy, full employment, and yet more New Zealanders than ever, hundreds of thousands, 600,000 according to the report, are relying on the state.

And the so-called experts have looked at it, and their answer is to supersize it, and to grow it. Is that an incentive to graft a little harder to be able to break the shackles and get on with your life? Or an incentive to keeping holding your hand out?