This week's poll asks:
What do you think is the MAIN reason why some people are long-term beneficiaries?
a) They don’t want to move off the benefit
b) There are not enough jobs available
c) They lack the necessary skills to fill the jobs available
*Why work when you can get cash for doing nothing. There are plenty of lazy sods in this country and most of them are brown. Bill
*Why should they when they are already paid to do nothing. Debra
*We have had a brush recently with being dependent upon the welfare system. Luckly we haven't had to stay on it long term but have been extremely surprised by attitudes others have towards you once you are on the "benefit".
When looking for work, as you do when you are on a benefit, employers showed distain and lack of interest if they found our you are a beneficiary. And this is why IMO people get stuck on the benefit, people are less inclined to give them a chance. Plus if you are on a benefit and then GET a job, your payments stop cold, then trying to live, pay bills and have enough money to feed yourself and your family until your first paycheck comes through is daughting. I think the fear of the shortfall in household income is a genuine fear that people have in regards to transitioning off the welfare system to paid employment. We were grateful for the help but even more thankful to be off the govt books. It would be sad to see oridinary hurting Kiwis hurt even more by the actions of a few. The Govt needs to get smart and make the establishment of jobs and buisinesses here in NZ its prime focus. Make it worthwhile for businesses to be here. Then welfare dependency will drop. There will always be the lazy ammong us but most people want to work in a decent well paying job. Wendy
*Why would you work when you can get $350 for being on the dole! Brent
*Pretty well everyone knows someone who chooses to be on a benefit, I have a relative who believes it is her right to draw a benefit, anyone else noticed how many kids are pushing prams around these days? Beneficiaries should definitely have restrictions put on what they can use the benefit for, I doubt the liquor outlets in benefit subsidised areas have even noticed the economic downturn. John
*Many are in a cash economy. Esp young males who supply and sell drugs. Al
*Why work when you can skim off the taxpayers? Peter
*3 egs of long-term welfare beneficiaries, friends of mine (will call them A, B and C):
A: never had full-time employment, on dole from school early eighties and then sickness benefit (due to alchoholism and cannibis addiction developed from too many years of idleness) for 25+ years. Own house (inheritance from deceased father), Sky TV etc, supportive mother. Died suddenly mid-forties of acute multi-organ failure. He was once a multi-talented sportsman, intelligent, good-looking. Died fat, no teeth, dirty.
'B & C': Moved to far north from Auckland after working and saving for property up there 20+ years ago. Grew and sold cannibis to subsidise the benefits they collected. 'A' had history of benefit reliance, mainly sickness and ACC, dubious reasons but never questioned by authorities. He committed suicide 2 years ago, due to drug dependency (cannibis) and depression. ACC paid for his funeral costs.
'B', his partner, a chronic and hopeless alcoholic who has been in and out of hospital for umpteen reasons (bone breakages from falls, burns from hot water, was even run over by her current partner whilst taking a pee behind the ute he was reversing - she was so drunk she didn't know he was even in the ute) due to her addiction. Has cost tax-payers probably around $1m for hospitalisations, multiple councellors, benefits. Now on a widows benefit although they were not married. Her friends and family have given up on her. She has been in rehab many many times, always fails. She was once an intelligent sucessful woman with a good job in Auckland. Now, due to the welfare system, she won't see 55 (she is 51), no question. That is how successful our welfare system is! Welfare system employs many trough-feeders in the Far North (counsellors mainly). Do we want welfare reform? You bet!!! Sharen
*Too many jobs have moved off to Asia, especialy the jobs that were avaliable for the lower social economic level. Bob
*Also a lot of people are purposely living in isolated areas where there is little oportunity to find work. David
*It is a combination of all the above, but it is primarily because they can. If the government placed a time limit on welfare dependency, the option of long-term or even lifetime welfare would not exist. Alistair
*Our benefits system entrenches dependence and makes living off welfare an alternative life style choice. There are also other, deeper and more serious effects. It robs people of the dignity of providing for themselves. It robs them of a productive focus for their lives and the value that comes from being a contributing member of society. These things also have an effect on the environment in the home, often contributing to family violence, drug use and crime. Government needs to make a change before it is too late. Michael
*I would have said A but there is more to it than 'not wanting to'. Ian
*Why work? when the government steals someone else's money to give to you. Far easier. Brent
*It is human nature to not want to work. Ian
*There is no incentive to work because the benefit pays them nearly as much. It is not right that the taxpayers' money is used by beneficiaries to buy tobacco and alcohol (and drugs) I would rather see them fed healthily and housed properly, without any discretionary money to waste on these other things. Glenn
*We have had a politically motivated disconnect of rights from responsibilities for at least 20 years now so rights without responsibilty are now part of our culture. Ian
*I believe a lot of people who were previously on the "dole" have been placed on benefits of one kind or another to reduce the "dole" numbers. There are a lot of training schemes available - but most of them are ineffective. There is a training centre next to where I work, but all they seem to do is stand about outside smoking and drinking coffee. I know several people who have worked there, who have gone there with enthusiasm and wanting to make a difference. They have all left after relatively short periods of time worn down by the futility of trying to teach skills to people who have only enrolled on the course to keep their dole money coming in. Sandra
*In all cases they have their own reasons, and they can be varied as many time as there are people. In general it is the lack of encouragement by negative departments that operate way behind the eightball, with vindictive staff that are ill trained and lack any compassion. What needs to happen is for WINZ and CYFS to close down, with a new organisation/s taking their place that operates positively. Rawiri
*Actually probably a combination of A & B with more emphasis on A. Walter
*The general level of skills (and education) is woeful. Gerhard