Solo dad Thomas Reid wants to work, but says getting a minimum wage job would leave his family worse off due to skyrocketing living costs. He is not alone. A budget service manager says he understands why there is a "reluctance to move away from the safety net of benefits" and a beneficiaries advocate says some clients with children are clearing only an extra $20 a week after getting a job.
Read the full story: Rotorua solo dad on benefit says he will be no better off working for minimum wage
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Hey, that's great Thomas. Don't worry, I'm happy to work 45-50 hours a week to provide for my family, pay taxes so you can sit at home on the benefit. Fortunately for you, the Labour Party is totally on board with your lifestyle choice too.
- Mike H
I live next door to a state house. The entire family seem quite happy having parties every day drinking, smoking weed and fighting. Seems no trouble to afford it on the benefit, as no one works. What cracks me up is that their family car is an SUV BMW.
- Max R
So rather than work and better himself, despite record low unemployment, our benefits system encourages people to choose not to work. The purpose of welfare was always as a safety net when people could not provide for themselves. It was not intended to be a matter of preference as to whether you could be bothered providing for yourself. I got paid less than my old labouring job when I stepped into training for a future role, after a modest period of training and proving myself, I was much better off. This man should be in work, he is capable, the workforce needs him, and opportunities will flow for better jobs as he shows his capability.
- Kim C
That is the problem with our system, too touchy-feely. He shouldn't have a choice. That's what's wrong in my view. If you are physically able to work you should have to. Benefits should only be for people who cannot work.
- Garry T
It raises the question should whether people like Thomas be required to work? I would say yes.
- Ian U
Once you've started working and got the relevant experience you can command better pay rates. Everyone has to start somewhere, the situation is not ideal but you have to give it a go.
- Zabal K
Well, $20 is $20. It's a start. I know it's hard having made the transition myself. Bloody hard but do it anyway. It might be just $20 to start but wages do increase if you are good and reliable. The difference has decreased since benefits have risen so this is not a good reason to not work and to all employers out there desperate for employees. There are lots of people like this who need a hand up. Are you up for it?
- Carolyn A
So the answer is clear, either limit the benefit and put it on a card system so it covers the basics so no Lotto, cigarettes, alcohol etc or reduce the amount paid so there is an incentive to work rather than just being looked after.
- Edwin S
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