Labor flexes on welfare and makes life harder for employers
“How is it possible that MSD has not been able to get tens of thousands of beneficiaries to work while employers are crying out for workers?” asks ACT social development spokesperson Karen Chhour.
“We have a historic labor shortage. MSD has 100,000 work-ready beneficiaries on its books, 35,000 work-ready beneficiaries more than when they started work. When the fruit rots on the branches and the companies are clamoring for labour, there should be no excuse for them to refuse suitable work.
“Labour indulges those who choose to remain dependent on the government while they are able to work. There are no longer any serious obligations or penalties.
“Today’s statistics show that the number of people canceling their benefit to join the labor market has fallen by 15.7% over the past year, but the penalties imposed on beneficiaries who do not meet their obligations professionals fell by 2,000 last year, and by more than 10,000 since 2017.
“Recently, ACT revealed that the government is investigating benefit fraud less than ever.
“Work just doesn’t seem to want to incentivize Kiwis to work. Their culture of welfare dependency hurts New Zealand’s productivity, with able Kiwis choosing to reside on benefit rather than play their part in society and work.
“They increased the amount of benefits but relaxed the obligations of beneficiaries. If only they tried to grow the economy with the same verve and determination that they displayed in handing out handouts.
“A culture of victimization perpetuates Labour’s social approach rather than the belief that people can make a difference in their own lives.
“The real tragedy is that Labour’s low expectations of beneficiaries prevent them from creating a better life for themselves and their families.
“Instead of seeing the benefits as the solution, Labor must attack the root of poverty by developing the economy and fixing our education system. ACT today came up with a document full of cost-of-living solutions that the government should follow to do just that.
“Welfare is about helping people get back on their feet, it’s not a lifestyle choice.”
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