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Dr Muriel Newman

Labour’s Deepening Dependency Trap

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Last week’s benefit increases delivered on promises made by Labour’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson in the 2021 Budget.

During his speech to Parliament at the time, he harked back to the past: “This Budget is set against the Budget delivered 30 years ago this year, the so-called ‘Mother of All Budgets’. It was the Budget that finalised the benefit cuts… We will restore dignity and hope for some of the lowest income New Zealanders by righting the wrong of those benefit cuts by boosting main benefit rates by up to $55 per week.”

Former Finance Minister Ruth Richardson had responded to his criticism explaining: “My budget was driven by a desire to lift economic growth and to make employment attractive. Grant Robertson’s budget is overtly driven by politics and the desire to pay off Labour supporters… The tragedy of this approach is that it locks in intergenerational state dependency with benefits becoming more attractive than jobs.”

So, who was right? Let’s look at what the evidence tells us – but first, some background.

Thirty years ago, it had become clear that ill-advised welfare changes recommended by the Holyoake Government’s Royal Commission into social security and implemented by Norman Kirk’s Labour Government in the early seventies had created a devastating cycle of long-term intergenerational benefit dependency.

Three policies in particular had proved disastrous for New Zealand.

Firstly, the needs-based, ‘good character’ requirement for state support, which had been a cornerstone of Michael Joseph Savage’s original vision of welfare, had been replaced with a ‘universal benefit’ entitlement requiring taxpayers to fund even those exhibiting anti-social and criminal behaviours. Secondly, raising benefit levels similar to a working wage, had effectively undermined the incentive to work. And thirdly, the introduction of the Domestic Purposes Benefit subsidised family breakdown, marginalised fathers, and left single mothers struggling to raise their children on their own.

Preventing generations of children raised in deprivation in families with a culture of violence, no history of work, and no interest in education, from repeating the dependency cycle, became the catalyst for those 1990s benefit reforms. 

Helen Clark’s Labour Government, however, dismantled many of the changes during their nine years in office. As a result, when John Key’s National Government came to power in 2008, they found only a third of all working age beneficiaries were being work tested.

By failing to make the receipt of a benefit conditional on the need to look for work and take available jobs, intergenerational welfare dependency had again become such a serious problem, that a TV One Colmar Brunton poll showed “more than eight in every 10 people surveyed believed there was an underclass problem.”

The OECD was also highly critical, identifying New Zealand’s stand-alone sole parent benefit as the primary cause of child poverty. In comparison to other countries where assistance for sole parents is temporary and work-related, they found the benefit’s weak work requirements and generous payments encouraged women with children to stay on welfare for far too. As a result, New Zealand had one of the highest rates of child deprivation and sole parent dependency in the OECD.

With research unequivocal, that child abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, educational failure, crime, suicidal behaviour, and other forms of social dysfunction, are much higher in single parent beneficiary families than two parent or working households, National’s reforms focussed on providing improved outcomes for mothers and children. Based on the principle that welfare should be a hand up to work and a better future, work-testing and sanctions were available to prevent welfare becoming a lifestyle choice.

A range of social obligations for sole parents were introduced, to ensure their children were enrolled with a GP, were up to date with Well Child health checks, were involved in early childhood education, and attended school.

Teenage parents were expected to be in education or training, and their benefits were subjected to ‘Income Management’, whereby their rent, power and other essentials were paid automatically, with only a small allowance available for personal use.

With early childhood education available from age three, work requirements for sole parents obliged them to look for part-time work of at least 20 hours a week and to accept any suitable job when their youngest child turned three, with a full-time job when they turned 14.

In light of the poor outlook for children born into welfare dependency, the benefit was aligned to employment law, to discourage beneficiary mothers from having more children. This meant that once a new baby was a year old, the mother was expected to resume the work requirements in place before her baby was born.

To encourage single parents into jobs as the pathway to higher incomes and a better future, a range of supports were available including a guaranteed minimum income, which ensured that a sole parent working 20 hours a week would be substantially better off in employment than on a benefit.

With all of that in mind, let’s dive into the detail to determine whether Labour’s welfare changes will indeed restore the “dignity and hope” Minister Robertson claims, or further entrench the dependency trap.

Grant Robertson’s “biggest in more than a generation” benefit increases were based on the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, headed by Dame Cindy Kiro, who is now our Governor General. Their 2019 report of 42 recommendations, which included raising core benefit levels by up to 47 percent, had a price tag of over $5 billion a year.

The first tranche of the promised benefit increases was introduced on 1 July last year, when welfare payments were raised by $20 a week. The second increases came into effect on 1 April, when weekly benefits increased by $20 to $42 per adult.

A February Cabinet paper explains there is a statutory requirement to adjust the rates of social assistance on 1 April each year as part of an “Annual General Adjustment”.

That means many of last week’s changes such as to superannuation – which is linked to Consumer Price Index increases and adjusted to ensure it is not less than 66 percent, nor more than 72.5 percent, of the net average wage – would have happened anyway.

While welfare benefits increased with the average wage, Cabinet authorised an additional payment: “Adult rates of main benefits are further increasing to the rates recommended by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group in 2019, with an additional $15 per week, per adult for families with children…”

As a result of these changes, the Ministry of Social Development estimated 364,000 beneficiaries will be better off by an average of $109 per week than they were in 2017 when Labour took office. That’s a significant increase in benefit levels.

So, how have benefit numbers been tracking?

Overall the number of people reliant on welfare has increased by 27 percent from 290,000 in December 2017, to 368,000 in December 2021. While Covid has clearly had a major impact, with Jobseeker numbers rising 53 percent from 123,000 in December 2017 to 188,000 in December 2021, the numbers began increasing as soon as Labour took office – as did the length of time jobseekers are staying on the benefit.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Lindsay Mitchell, a social issues analyst who closely monitors welfare developments has been investigating what’s going on:

“Since Labour came to power in 2017 the number of people relying on welfare has grown significantly, as has the time people spend dependent. This development is due to both political ideology and political incompetence.

“Finance Minister Grant Robertson makes frequent self-serving references to New Zealand’s low unemployment rate of just 3.2 percent. He does not talk, however, about the Jobseeker dependency rate which is much higher at 6 percent.

“In absolute numbers 93,000 people are officially unemployed according to Stats NZ but there are 188,000 on a Jobseeker benefit. It is unusual for the gap between the two numbers to be so large. Four years ago, the respective numbers were close at 128,600 and 123,039.”

Lindsay explains that the difference between the Stats NZ official unemployment rate and the numbers on the Jobseeker benefit is due to definitions. Stats NZ defines the ‘unemployed’ to be someone without a job, who is available for work, but – crucially – must have been looking for work in the past four weeks or be ready to start a new job within the next month.

That means that  anyone on a Jobseeker benefit who hasn’t been actively looking for work, is not classified as being “unemployed”.

This Stats NZ definition creates a bizarre incentive for any government chasing “good news statistics” – if they weaken work testing obligations, fewer jobseekers will search for work and the better the unemployment numbers will look!

While most of the existing welfare sanctions have been introduced to encourage a transition from welfare to work, the Kiro Advisory Group wants them abolished. 

A 2021 Cabinet paper outlines those under review include sanctions for failing to comply with benefit approval requirements or resolve outstanding arrest warrants; failing to undertake pre-employment drug testing, drug rehabilitation, or return to work assessments; failing to reapply annually for a benefit; and failing to ensure children are enrolled with a medical practice, are up to date with Well Child checks and are attending early childhood education or school. 

Two sanctions relating to sole parents have already been removed. The subsequent child rule, which required welfare mothers who had another baby to resume work requirements after twelve months, has been scrapped. There are now no work test requirements for three years, and if Labour adopts the Advisory Group’s recommendations, there will be no work testing for six years.

The second sanction to be removed was known as the section 70A deduction. Introduced by Labour in 1990 to ensure that fathers contributed to the cost of bringing up their children on the Domestic Purposes Benefit, a rort had developed whereby mothers received cash in return for not naming the father on their child’s birth certificate, so he could avoid paying Child Support. While Helen Clark’s Labour Government increased the penalty, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government has scrapped it.

While the majority of sanctions are still in place, enforcement action, which was already declining before the pandemic and was put on hold during much of 2020, has virtually collapsed – down 66 percent from 14,778 sanctions in December 2017 to just 5,040 in December 2021. In other words, Labour is turning a blind-eye to work-testing.

Meanwhile, the statistics for sole parents are worsening.

In December 2011, the number of sole parent beneficiaries peaked at 90,000, but, as a result of National’s reforms, had declined to 61,000 by December 2017, when the Ardern Government took office. That trend has now reversed with a 20 percent increase in sole parents to 73,000 by December 2021.

The number of dependent children being raised in those sole parent households has increased by 23 percent from 118,000 in 2017, to 145,000 in 2021, and the length of time on a benefit is also rising with 81 percent of the mothers receiving Sole Parent Support at the end of 2021 having been on a benefit for longer than a year, compared with 74 percent in 2017.

If Labour continues to enact the Kiro Advisory Group’s recommendations to increase the value of benefits and remove sanctions, the dependency trap will grow deeper and become more and more dangerous for children.

The Prime Minister is fooling herself and the country when she tells us she is improving child poverty by raising benefits. The only sustainable way to improve the outcome for children is to support their parents into jobs and a better future.

Minister Robertson claimed he wanted to restore dignity and hope for some of the lowest income New Zealanders. But he too is foolish if he thinks paying people more to remain on welfare will achieve that outcome. Dignity and hope come from freedom and being independent of state handouts to survive.

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everything they do is WRONG!!! The evil witch has just dragged us into a war in Europe which will now make NZ a PRIME TARGET for nuclear missiles !! David
Sick and tired of all the bs. Marie
Jacinda Ardern is The Godmother! As crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Glyn
In Saul Alinsky’s 8 Steps from democracy to socialist society. 8 levels of control before you are able to create a communist state -1. Healthcare which was dealt with in the previous newsletter – control healthcare and you control the people. -2. Poverty -3. Debt -5.Welfare – take control of every aspect of their lives ( food, housing, income) because that will make them fully dependent on the government and one which Ardern is an expert at -8. Class warfare – racially divide. Monica
After reading the way that Labour has cooked the books and covered the numbers of unemployed the whole nasty truth becomes obvious. No wonder with the dishonest jobseekers benefit giving the wrong and deflated numbers making it look as if the unemployed number is under control and decreasing, the whole pack of lies from Labour give a false reading. No wonder there are so many job vacancies and shortage of workers. They would rather be on a benefit care of the taxpayer whilst Labour hit on the idea of saying the closed borders were preventing workers arriving. That may be the case in some specialist vacancies but doesn’t explain why locals are reluctant to take seasonal and employment in unskilled work that is available. It’s easier to be paid a benefit and do nothing now that there is no check up to make sure they keep their side of the bargain and actively seek work. Another Labour disaster to add to the huge list built over the last 5 years. CHRIS
When labour is no longer in government the first Budget from national will be the new mother of all budgets hopefully reversing this trend of madness and hopefully direct those that are dependent to step up and be self sufficient The gravy train handout mentality has to stop Eugene
Definitely !!!!! James
labour need to make people take the jobs that are there,but they seem to be quite happy to just let people sit on there arse and pay them to do nothing,cannot beleive we live in a country like this,there are people that genuinely need help,but there is a high proportion of bludgers out there with there hands out always wanting more,single mothers that just have kids as a career choice,im afraid there is just so many low life’s out there oh but you cant say that would hurt there feelings, this country is in an ever deepening hole, this socialist government has got to go rodger
Maori org. never seem to be accountable.Money just goes missing and no one seems to care.Wrong emphasis on privilege. laurie
Kids will feel why should we work when I can get paid to do nothing. By seeing their mom and/or dad sit around doing nothing and grizzling they don’t have enough to live on but don’t have to get a job.. Instead of increasing benefits the government should increase the amount they can earn before it effects the benefit to $300-400 per week. By this stage they will have proven their work capabilities. In other words if you want a life look for work. But for this to happen they need support and guidance. Robert
Some hospital wards are racist. After an operation I was told I could not be put in a quiet room where there were 3 empty beds because it might be needed for some Maori man I do not qualify Arthur
almost rhetorical question bill
The Labour Party today is nothing but a band of fools. Tony
Welfare is a temporary hand up, not a long term lifestyle choice. COLIN
It is so obvious that this Labour group of do gooders are just wrecking so many lives and supporting the gangs by not encouraging people to work and just looking at the now and not the future. They must be borrowing big time to fund their policies and who will pay for it, the next generation Alan
All this Government is doing is increasing its own voter base by design. its not interested in really “helping” anyone except themselves. Jason
There are plenty of jobs going so these people should be encouraged to seek employment Diana
High welfare dependency is a common trait of Labour governments, as that’s where their voting base lies. Lawrie
Encouraging New Zealanders not to work caren
Comrade Ardern and her crew of incompetents quite clearly do not have a clue how to govern wisely for the benefit of all New Zealand citizens. Igor
Mickey Savage and his crew implemented a few good ideas. Subsequent Labour governments have not. Some, including the current one, have actively, and seemingly deliberately, dragged our country backwards creating and exacerbating the very problems they purport to be trying to solve. Kerry
Clearly, and deliberately, the wrong direction. When considering the intended increase in welfare dependancy and the subsequent consequences this can only be regarded as despicable action – deliberate despicable by this government. Sooner or later – they must be held responsible. Grahame
This is ‘Vote Buying’ pure and simple. It’s a pity we have so many spineless politicians who won’t stand up and enact policies that strengthen our society through incentives. Robert
It is a deliberate move to increased welfare dependency including removing democracy. Sadly it will be too late before the sheep realize we are broke and have no voice. New Zealand is doomed. Sam
So our “unemployment statistics” are more of the governments fake news. Ray
NZ has always been a really hard place to raise your children on your own. Childcare zoos take most of your income, when you have 3 kids and you are on your own without the other partner helping, it is very stressful to go to work and earn the minimum wage and still be short of food and rent because you paid the zoo $600 a week for three kids. If the Govt stopped rents exceeding the basic right to have a roof over ones head then maybe they could survive on the minimum wage. Its all very well saying we are screaming our for labourers and fruit pickers, are you willing to up root a family to send them to remote parts of NZ to pick fruit? Women do enter the labour work force but usually not with young children. NZ has never been a place to get ahead for a single women. Even with a degree the market low paid and is slim pickings for women. The tax we pay is not sucked up by the job seeker, its sucked up by cycle lanes, petrol tax, road works, and now climate change taxes. NZ pays very little to benefits on the scale of what they pay out for other things. I think it is time people STOPPED judging people on benefits as a lot of them would prefer to have a decent job. A lot of people in NZ have serious mental issues as well as disabilities, they are still work tested and are you going hire those people yourselves? We have a huge homelessness issue which show the welfare system in NZ is not working. I for one would like people to walk in a solo parents shoes before one judges, and how about the govt makes the other person who made the children’s responsible financially or is that just too much pressure on men? Child support goes to the sole benefits not your taxes. Perhaps the other parent should pay half the rent or mortgage, proper alimony. We also have a large gang and domestic violence scene in NZ. I am a 4th year law student and I am appalled at the whining about benefits. Do you relaise we pay for prisoners in jail and they cost NZ tax papers more than a job seeker, it costs the tax payers, for one year, $135 thousand for a female prisoner and $15 thousand for a female single mum. Chaquila
This Government is a joke. Justin
Unemployment increase is frightening and making people dependent. Peg
Labour does not know its right hand from its left they are swimming around like blind seals. Harold
Totally unsustainable or beneficial to the children . Definitely vote buying policy. heather
Zero logic. Dave
Jacinda is calling for the increased Failure of businesses in NZ ? This she hopes will increase the number of people on the benefit, and under her control. What an ECONOMIC disaster for the Country. This decision of hers HAS REMOVED ALL DOUBT !! Pierre
Totally wrong direction. The welfare system for a significant number is now generational and a lifestyle choice, of which the present government is further encouraging. Laurence
Even with children in good well educated families as with anyone it’s common sense & well proven the more you give them the less they’ll do for themselves , it’s never worked in history in any civilisation and still these idealistic vote gathering politicians continue to throw the same shit at the same wall hoping one day it might miraculously tick, how is it such fools can run our country in plain site and yet we continue to allow it, surely we can be no better. Garry
Some governments will do anything to stay in power, and this is one of them, happy to send young New Zealanders down the drain. sven
The wrong direction destroys the obligation we all have to work and assist with making a positive contribution to our country and economy. Stephen
Read what Thomas Sowell has to say about handouts and dependancy. angus
Surprise, surprise – trying to guarantee votes! Patricia
They are incapable of any logical thought. galem
do you really think Labour could get anything right!! colin
Welfare should be for a short period, and should be monitored regularly. Jobs should be sought, and accepted regardless. Dependency is not an as of right. DEREK
It will simply increase benefit dependency. James
Education is the only elevator for everyone. Dependency on Welfare should be discouraged. Elaine
Now push for seperate Maori education! We have to compete on every level with rest of world,Maori will be at such a disadvantage if they are not educated properly Chris
The true and current statistics prove the answer. NO. The cycle of dependency is causing the proliferation of non-productive citizens. Has anyone asked the question of Iwi, where the multi-millions of dollars given to Maori has been spent? The answers will be enlightening. And, why solo mothers can be paid the DPB to keep having children. Many mothers have children to a number of different, anonymous fathers! The entire welfare system needs thrown out. This Government can’t and won’t do it. Mammoth task now with the breakdown of families. Heather
No wonder crime figures are on the rise!! Janet
Every day that the current stays in office is another terrible day for the future prospects of New Zealand. Bill
Are we heading to a communist country David
No, they need to help people to be able to help themselves.  Jim
By making it a requirement for a benefit applicant not to seek work is a disaster for the country and a no brainer for the beneficary. Brian
Higher benefits for those who are able but choose not to work are taking steps in a totally wrong direction. They are encouraging people who are able but choose not to work to remain in this position. This is a very bad outlook for the future and their families. Brian
a) It’s simply reward for voting Labour b) it creates multi-generational addiction to freebies c) it increases state control, the #1 goal of Socialism 101. Phil
They are encouraging laziness and no work ethic Mike
It fits the agenda of the WEF, which appears to be to reduce the peoples of the world to a state of dependence on Governments. And we all know very well the truth of that old saying, “he who pays the piper calls the tune’. Rosemary
I shake my head in despair. I see this country going down the gurgler. We have so much potential ! People are worried about inflation but politicians love inflation to reduce their huge debts. These are sad times for this lovely land and the world but I have long asked the question, where did common sense go to ? John
Work-shy people and solitude seekers lose support from fellow-workers and are more likely to have mental health problems. Edgar W.
I’m old enough to remember the stigma if you were on the ‘dole’. It’s probable that things were tougher then for most compared with recent decades. I was brought up in the most basic of state flats, but it never occurred to us that anyone other than ourselves was responsible for us making our way through life. ‘If you keep giving, they’ll keep asking’ . Ian
Labour Policy not conducive with getting people to accept work, other than them staying in bed or just lazing around and getting into mischief! Roy
state control is the agenda here Peter
too much state dependency Don
Less working people being taxed more to support Dole Bludgers Gary
Ruining the country dangerously Kath
Perhaps Jacinda wants this dependency to continue. Isn%u2019t it the way to communism? Jacqui
Labour is creating a group of people who are totally dependent on Taxpayer paid Welfare. Some of these people and their families, have never worked, and are literally taking the Taxpayers for a ride. It is time that things changed, to ease the burden on the Taxpayers. Heather
Jacinta we don’t love you any more Louise
NZ wake up, Alan
Self worth and dignity only come from your own efforts- accepting the largesse of the state only drives the recipient into more dependency and reduction in self esteem Ihaia
Yet again another example of Labour’s adherence to blind and dangerous political dogma.They would be served working for Putin’s “lie factory”. Pete
this nonsense propaganda needs to be stopped william
Employment must be the preferred option for people and the economy to flourish. It also gives people a reason to better themselves. Continuous benefit dependency is leading to terribly low educational achievement in children Paula
Two children policy should be brought in so that every child has stability with a full belly. Catiez
Why would you go to work when the government pays you to stay at home. Make them dependent upon the welfare and they will keep voting for you. All part of the p,an to collapse the economy and bring in the new world order. Plain to see. Peter
They(Labour) definitely are taking welfare and other areas of government in the wrong – time for a citizens referenda to remove them from office Rob
Bad attitudes of dependency can become the norm. Peter
There are now third, Fourth generations of families relying on welfare handouts. They don’t want to work. Get them off the backsides and back into the workforce. Wayne
The sooner this pack of bastards get booted out of government the better. they are totally destroying NZ david
There is no incentive to find a job. Mark
She is doing everything exactly as her socialist textbook brainwashed her to do.. I could strangle her! Stop ruining our country and bugger off to your left mates in New York. By the way, any chance of some blue helmets stopping Russia invade another sovereign state? They have forgotten what they were set up for….. oh I remember LBGT and climate change. Creed
Families need fathers John
As the dependency trap grows with more handouts this Govt. will be expecting more votes from those that receive it. and therefore feel that there is no point in working when the money is free. Robina
Banana republic, we are on the way Geoff
The dependency trap is just another tool in the total control of all, Socialist/Globalist agenda toolbox. Having to rely on immigrants who are prepared to work, for our so called labour shortage, is simply an indication that doing nothing & getting paid for it, is now an accepted option, by the LAZY, irresponsible, local workforce. The latest move by this disgusting government, will simply reinforce this situation. A.G.R.
Anything Labour does is wrong Warren
Just about everything this government does, or has done over the past five years, is in the wrong direction.. Why would they spoil a near perfect record of incompetency by doing something right? Graham
Why work, when you can live easily on a benefit. Denis
They have no idea. This government has to go! Lois
Yet more competence by this Liebour Govt & all done like SO many actions & policies with stealth to achieve their ideaology of Socialism on track for eventual Communisim…bye bye Democracy as we once knew it…huh? Bruza
The key reasoning for labours irresponsible bennificaries handouts is voter support. There is zero encouragement to get these people into work as you correctly state. That alone should be the main focus. John
Only socialists espousing the politics of envy would support the system that has developed in New Zealand Peter
No work ethic remains Angela
The hard working citizens of NZ are being taxed heavily, whilst the hand holder uppers get given more and more. Unjust to say the least. Virginia
Kids are worse off, their education is failing badly, parents keep having children and getting more benefits, the unemployed are staying unemployed and lazy, and seeking other ways in which to earn money like stealing, and how come a lot of people on benefits can afford to smoke and drink and do drugs? Kerin
More of the same!! Helen
What’s the point in working..?? Peter
Utterly wrong! Peter
Independence, responsibility and Integrity must be encouraged with measured support. Neil
benefits are so lucrative that people do not want to work when they can get paid for doing nothing. noel
Any one with any intelligence can see this Gail
a solo mother earns more on a benefit than working, why would she work ? Evan
Too much welfare is no good for any country. This Govt is failing in everything I feel. Barbara
Buying votes is what they are doing. It can be nothing less than that. What’s more it might even work, until the idiots run out of other peoples money! Paul
Where’s the incentive to be proud of working for a living? Suz
Welfare should come with easily understood rules. Break the rules and payments are canceled.EOS. Steve
Labour is going too far to extend its reliance on and influence on an ever increasing number of the “so called” poor, thereby increasing its voter base. However, the creation of what is now an extended and unaffordable Welfare System, both Labour and National have to accept their share of criticism. It all started back in the 60’s with the introduction of the Domestic Purposes Benefit. From there, benefits in all forms have been granted to the extent now that whole communities are reliant on welfare payments of some sort. This in itself has created a culture of entitlement, which is so far entrenched that I doubt whether it can ever be reigned in. The most flagrant abuse is the superannuation entitlement. I lived most of my working life offshore, and in so doing I created my own “self managed superannuation fund”. Now retired, my wife and I returned to New Zealand and we are more than happy to rely on my own superannuation fund to cater for our retirement. I did not register to claim my government superannuation for 7 years, but got sick and tired of people enquiring why I was not claiming it: as it was an entitlement. I do NOT need this benefit, but in the end when I see the wasteful use of tax-payers money, I decided to register and claim such. We use this money to anonymously support people and causes within our local community. It galls me to see this “entitlement mentality” taken up by All eligible New Zealanders. Why can this not be means tested, like the great majority of sensible governments overseas, instead of the dicking around and fiddling with the accredited “retirement age” of entitlement? With the increasing numbers of our aging population, and the declining numbers of actual tax payers, the tortuous continuation will be unaffordable and we all know what that means. So the challenge is to get some “jelly-backed” politicians to grow a spine, and actively address this continued stupidity. Timothy 
The people behind this Labour government have no idea what they are doing. Charles
We are approaching the day of reckoning Les
Your article sums it up very well Maxwell
very sad that they think this way Colin
When will we ever learn – these welfare policies are KILLING our nation! Jenny
Should be more training help for job seekers not paying them to stay on the benefit. June
Defiantly the wrong thing to do if you need hike poverty to reduce. Just fooling themselves for vote collecting Roy
They want to give everyone a handout instead of hand up which is what welfare should be for. Not the life style choice it has become. Addrianne
Another example of Labour buying votes at the same time as creating greater dependency. A good strategy to maintain power but poor for the future of NZ. Gary
This policy will only widen the circle of child poverty, remove any incentive to aim for the dignity of work and accelerate the disfunction in NZ. David
All this Labour Government is doing is creating a New Zealand full of losers and increasing the crime rate. Jobseekers are also unemployed people and should come under the one category as “unemployed and everyone on a benefit should be enforced to provide evidence of searching for jobs on a weekly basis. Employers are desperate for workers, and those who are receiving the dole and not out looking for work should have their benefits STOPPED! Solo mothers must be made to name the father, who MUST be made to pay maintenance, and payments to solo mothers should only cover the essential needs .. not rent, power etc … or a very nice car! This dependency on welfare needs to STOP! Des
Workers are paying for those that don’t want to. Charlotte
Pandering to the base as usual. Robert
Incentives are not to work and become dependent. Tony
Definitely wrong but she is determined to get as many people as possible dependent on the State and then Communism takes over – her sole goal. Garry
I fear for the future of this country. The gap is being pushed wider by so few and will effect so many. Margaret
Encouraging and enabling people to rely on welfare forever is wrong. Graham
It is high time to force some to take employment. Fruit industries are employing people who are willing to leave home and country to earn money and we pay able bodied to get money for nothing. Ido
crazy policies Jeremy
Throwing money at something that that isn’t working will not make it better. Give people some dignity by meaningful employment and if they don’t like the sound of that, cut the benefit. In other words get off your backside and start contributing to society. chris
Creating Dependence for life! So Sad! Ollie
Typical extreme socialist ideology. Sid
Make it easier and more attractive to work!! Stringent sactions and less tax for lower income workers Tjaart
This is too complex for us general public to really ok ent on. But looking at the stats does indicate it’s the wrong direction. Certainly dropping the requirement to identify the father is poor! People must face up to the results of their actions! Hugh
What’s going on here is an attempted Bribe of the now disenchanted Labour Supporters. They should stop talking to themselves and actually talk to the People. Geoff
It is creating a dependency on hand outs rather than work. Harvey
Working helps with mental health, children benefit from working parents Janette 
Welfare must be capped at One year irrespective of number of children & fathers named & made to contribute. Working for Families needs to be abolished. State housing given as temporary accomodation & not to exceed 2 years & eventually abolished. Warren
The number of people reliant on benefit has increased since Labour took control due to ideology and incompetence. Linda
There will be shocking long term consequences Jenny
They have lost the plot Barry
Labour has established an almost irreversible regime of State dependency. Bob
If this is not rectified, we will have generation after generation who solely live on the benefit and no-one in the wider family who can relate to the importance of working. Labour are not helping, they are doing the opposition long term. Glenda
Welfare payments are like a drug once dependency is entrenched it is difficult or impossible to reverse. Brian
They are increasing dependancy. Governments frequently ignore the psychology of people (of course some people will be happy to be on a generous benefit for doing nothing). Not the way to get ahead or set a good example for your children. It’s a blatant vote-catcher. Sheila
Has the tipping point been reached. The socialist dream of full state control. Keep the masses dependent on the state – pay them benefits to ensure compliance. But who pays? If I were younger I’d leave NZ frankly. Mike
Too many people are taking advantage of the welfare system. If they are of working age, they should be working. No benefit. Solo parents should not be having more children, so no extra benefit. If the father of the baby is not named, no benefit. We need to get rid of this socialist government as soon as possible. Hard working people need to be rewarded, not lazy people who choose not to work. Come on National and Act. Do your thing Dianne
Labour’s policies are reckless and are destroying our country. Bruce
This government will do anything to get votes, even at the cost of further lowering the standards by which we live. Tom
Encouraging society not to work. Ann
Living off the NZ taxpayer is now a lifestyle choice! Carol
Hand outs do not create self worth – let alone dignity Bruce 
Big problem Elizabeth
Welfare is far too lucrative and is an easy lifestyle choice. Why work and be accountable when you can receive an adequate income with zero accountability while enjoying complete freedom to do whatever you like with your life. Welfare handouts must be totally removed and replaced with a system of hand-ups with complete accountability and every welfare beneficiaries finances must be managed like they used to do with teenager beneficiaries. Going to work must be the most attractive option. Being paid to stay unemployed, stay intoxicated, and breed prolifically is so well proven to be disaster that simply fuels welfare dependency and crime that only a complete idiot can’t see it. Steve
Dependency is all about voters and poll results. Once the two parent family became obsolete why would any single parent want to work. More money on the dole. John
The statistics prove it! Errol
since the conception of the DPB welfare dependancy has increased Stanley
it makes you want to cry Noel
It must be so devastating to hear you are being ‘listed’ as potentially being helpless and lost needing yet another financial hand out. Positive attitudes – not handouts – generates so many opportunities for all those and others around one.. Stuart
Another example of not understanding the unintended consequences Mike
Welfare is supposed to be a helping hand to get people back on their feet, not a lifestyle choice where it their right to have a living wage, with all the disastrous consequences this entitlement has brought with it John
The numbers speak for themselves. This Governments obsession with the so called expert advisory groups instead of using the resources of the existing public service ensures that they get the answers they want. How does the phrase go, honest days work for an honest days pay. But to get it you must work. Barry
I’ve always disbelieved the unemployment stats because they didn’t include the numbers on JobSeeker benefits. The stats outlined by Lindsay Michell clearly show that Robertson and Ardern have been misrepresenting the unemployment numbers. Just another example of their dishonesty. The ideology of this government is contributing to long-term welfare dependence for those who are too lazy to get off their chuffs and get a job, particularly when there is an abundance of jobs available. Kerry
Definitely in the wrong direction. Welfare has gone too far. It needs to be a hand-up rather than a basis of a continuous living tax payer handout. However there needs to be a concentration on the children in a solo parent situation. I believe that this needs a series of collective centres throughout the country that can organise the lives of the children to enable them to have three good meals a day and ensure a good education. It is essential for the future of our country that the children at the bottom are given the chance to be exposed to the maximum education in learning English and math’s to the best of their individual ability. They need this to have any chance of getting decent future employment opportunities There needs to be a real strong attempt to break the poverty chain. I haven’t seen any genuine attempt to do this over the last 50 years. It makes me think that there is no real political commitment to even try to deal effectively to this growing problem. Garry
Especially shocking statistics on the number of children in dependent families. Gordon
I agree with the fact that a welfare trap is a real problem. There are a huge number of employers looking for workers. Mike
Absolutely the wrong direction and this is very obvious with the increasingly poor stats on dependency. People should be encouraged to get out and work and not sit at home with their upturned palm, having ever more children just so they can get some more money, not thinking/caring that it costs big dollars to raise a child. We must do what’s necessary to greatly reduce intergenerational welfare dependency. Helen
Hopeless jeff
Scandalous this Labour group has undone all the good systems put in place by National over previous years. The use of easy welfare money should not be used as an election bribe. Chris
Why should the hard working taxpayer be forced to fund the irresponsible breeding practices of others. The DPB should have a finer filter thus discouraging the arrival of babies that the state must support. In many cases these children have awful upbringings…. and there is your next generation of criminals. If you think that’s untrue, ask any policeman in south Auckland Peter
welfare dependency eventually removes all dignity from the recipients and their families. cliff
There is no mandate from the public to pass laws that were never campaigned on. The giving away of tax paid water infrastructure, natural resources based upon skin colour is flawed, sets us down a path of divide. The bulk number NZ will not accept it. When governments overstep these fundamentals, they become illegitimate. I fear the reversal of these types of laws may cause further divide. Lately, I ask people I meet this one question. “Who is the most hated woman in NZ” They all answer Jacinda Ardern. Thank you Dr Newman. You are one Incredibly intelligent lady. Scallyway QC
Labours aim is to establish a voter stud, where unmarried females are encouraged to continue breeding without the sire being identified. In this way the honest hardworking taxpayer gets to foot the bill with no responsibility for the sire. Since these breeding females are receiving payment for their labours they will certainly remain acolytes of the cult. This way solo females can increase their income so long as they keep becoming impregnated. The labour cult is nothing better than a bunch of pimps. To add salt to the wound they continue to pay those who are just unwilling to work, for no particular reason, thereby ensuring another voter base. Combine the two and they have struck the jackpot of a hereditary supply of beneficiaries and an ever-increasing number to add to the cult. Kind of like perpetual motion in beneficiaries. Corruption in the extreme by using taxpayers money to buy voters. Terry M
We need a hand up, not a hand out. Jacquetta
Classic labour behaviour – apart from the obvious unfairness of giving money to people who don’t want to contribute (generalising) to the financial well being of the whole country, once again these idiots have no long term appreciation of the consequences of their actions. Reminds me of the old saying – “give a man a fish, it feeds him for a day, or give a man a fishing rod, and feed him for a lifetime”. Roy
All Labour governments have been of a socialist persuasion leaning towards the welfare state. Where is the self esteem is being given handouts without any efforts to earn the rewards. Continual benefits create a situation of dependency and little work ethics which will be engrained. Peter
People on welfare should not get a vote. Jillian
into comunism we go David
What Labour is doing is no more than trying to “buy votes” stick with us and we will give you more… this is not helping to give independence and a meaningful purpose in society and life. Nigel
Complete madness Trevor
Basically bribing voters Adrian
NWO/WEF rules NZ to our detriment. It MUST be stopped. Coral
people need to earn their welfare handout, we should have them picking up rubbish if they cant find a job instead of sitting at home on playstation. john
You can fool some of the people … but it seems that the present Government is aiming for 100% coverage. If this is due to ideology then this Government is not only incompetent but downright dangerous. Paloma
excess welfare = poverty john
They are a pathetic embarrassment. There is no leadership and definitely in the wrong direction. Graeme
Anything this bunch of commy idiots do is disastrous Terry
A very succinct article on Welfare dependency. Alex
the welfare system is now at the worst place that it has ever been…this dire situation continues to buy votes for this communistic govt…watch out ; in the next elections !! Roy
Definitely, heading in a disastrous direction Graeme
Get everyone back to work then there would not be any need to rely on import seasonal workers we seem to be fostering a nation of no hopers hence the reason for most of the crime and it’s getting worse no respect for anything Peter
Read/listen to Thomas Sowell! Peter
Bribery of the unwashed ensures votes, thats all labour know, ridiculous policies. Clive
They’re destroying NZ and New Zealanders lives and opportunities. To encouraging good work or life ethics at all, on the contrary they are just traitors to the kiwi values Linda
Generational beneficiaries need encouragement to work. Simple sanctions such as attending training could boost confidence and lead to employment. Unfortunately because the benefits are so accessible a punitive approach such as reducing the amount of money or stopping it for non attendance may be required. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Fi
The govt needs to provide better work opportunities, not more handouts Theodora
definitely the wrong way Lorraine
Give a hand UP, not a hand OUT Geoffrey
This government is full of incompetence and most of them wouldn’t even be productive in the private sector where work helps an individual’s a self esteem worth hand outs are just vote chasing by this mob Kevin
This government is messing up the country so fast it is frightening ray
Socialisim at the gallop. The destruction of NZ democracy!! David
this is obvious, and clear dependency phil
Look at history and look at other places where this approach has been implemented – the US for one. It not only doesn’t work, it makes it magnitudes worse! Gary
The game play is for total dependence on the state. A population of mediocrity! Once trapped in dependency people comply, and their mantra becomes ” it is what it is.” Peter
People often say you are so lucky to have the things you have ( that i worked and paid for!) and my reply is “The harder you work the luckier you get” Phil
There is no incentive for a beneficiary to seek employment. Why face the inconvenience and travel cost of going to work when you are likely to have the same or more money in your pocket by staying home on a benefit? Frank
Part of the government socialist plan – people dependent on government handouts are easily controlled. That is what it’s about – power and control. John
Brilliant report. Exposes Government Dianne
It’s a vote-buying mechanism for Labour. They have never been productive in their lives and are encouraging the idle, money-grabbers in society, to join them. Martin
This is Just like everything else that they have touched. william
Proven time and again. Fred
welfare dependency is a blight on the nation. Peter
I feel Wrong is not the right word nor is Right. There are so many people in Society who need help in many ways that the System is ill equipped to cope and create a good Balance Laurel
hey,they ARE labour jack
Who is going to work if they can get money from the Government? Colin
There is a definite need for a Welfare System to assist those in real need. But not this Governments’ ad hoc distribution of more and more money. It’s getting to the point that the middle class worker will very shortly be the lower class paying for a middle class! Michael
wrong as always. read thomas sowell. learn the principles. stick to the principles. bruce
Why can’t the beaurocrats use common sense before changing the law Gareth
It’s social engineering at it’s worst. Labour buying votes with tax payers money. Low life’s are completely rotting the system and the so called indigenous people of New Zealand are the worst offenders. Darryl
Communists Robert
Intergenerational welfare dependency has been a growing issue since the time of the first Labour Government. Welfarism, as such, is now the primary cause of poverty. Mark 
When will the voter really look at what their voting for. warwick
May be if the Government were to pay benefit money to employers. Beneficiaries could then work 40 hours per week to claim their benefits.. Dennis
They haven’t got a clue, ricocheting from one shipwreck to the next. Tony
I am appalled that the Labour Ministers and MP’s have such a blinkered view of their policies. The as I see it are making or wanting to move 50% of the voters into a Government dependency and NOT helping people into long term employment. Carl
With Carmel Sepuloni as Minister they only had one aim from day one – grow the beneficiary base. pdm
In Papakura, we have 3rd generation “welfare dependent” families. Years ago, when a meat chain closed down away up north, those out of work were offered jobs trimming branches off of plantation forest trees. They didn’t take it up, because what they could get off the various benefits was too good! Ted
This is a train wreck arriving with increasing speed driven by fools Phil
It has angered me to learn that some Maori are now clammering for the pension to be given to their elderly from the age of 57. That’s privilege on the basis of race. The Labour government needs to grow the economy so that people can get work and recover from the adverse impact of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Virginia
We need to get back to some sort of means testing regime and targeted support. Hand outs are not the answer, we must get back to a system of hand ups. Rod
Welfare must be slashed and jobs offered Thymomas
Labour is repeating the same mistakes that will remove them from office as it always has. Ray
I have not had any children but from a childless person’s perspective I feel the govt is encouraging solo woman to have more babies as they receive more benefit. Jackie
Totally wrong Jeanette
Unfair to pay benefits to people perfectly able to work taking money from hard working Kiwis Norman
They just want to ensure that their voter base remains loyal John
Lets breed more dependence on handouts and continue to support thousands who have become useless and lazy. The good old communist way – the government will provide. No support of any kind for people who work hard. It seems to me, the more useless you are, the more you get handed ti you. Grrrrrrrrrrrr Nic
Have more kids=more money. No work other than child birth required for 6 years. Guess what happens. Richard
Deepening the dependency trap is deliberate and not accidental. A free, independent and economically healthy nation is difficult for a socialist administration to take over and control. A quote from globalist Maurice Strong : “What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?… In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? Folks, do you see the red flags? The great Marxist globalist reset is upon us. We “deplorables” must revolt en masse, fix reason firmly in her seat, install full private property rights, and 1Law4all Don
Benefits for people without work are great, but it CANNOT BE A LIFESTYLE OF CHOICE! Carl
Yet another area in which this government has demonstrated its complete incompetence. The unemployment statistics are especially shameful at a time when employers are desperately short of workers. Jon
The new payments will do exactly as you say – Increase Dependency. we already have 4 generations of beneficiaries, who have no intention of working or looking for work because Welfare Payments continue to increase and it is easier to accept them and not have to work. Those extra W.F. payments should be used to educate the dependents on how to cook food for their families, eat healthier food and budget properly. Maori would then be healthier, live longer, and and be able to set a good example for their children. Robyn
Give people a benefit for life and they will keep voting for you, right? The welfare trap is catching an ever increasing number of voters. Rod
Totally wrong direction! Errol
Continued support for long term welfare dependency is immoral at best, it best described as evil. This policy is using bad outcomes for children in order to gain votes, in order to stay in power. Evil. Cam
down the rabbit hole totally Erin
I despair at all this dependancy. The more I see the expenses being loaded on future generations the more I expect any young person with inititive to go overseas. Bev
Grant Robertson’s assertion that increasing benefits will increase dignity is the exact opposite of what is really occurring; i.e if one doesn’t work or try to work they should be ashamed of themselves; no dignity in that! Warren
more dependency is good for no-one self respect john
They are morons Russell
Welfare in New Zealand is a national disgrace. Child abuse is already so rife it doesn’t make the papers anymore, but Starship is full of these little victims of our shameful system. Breaks my heart. Welfare is political, end of story! Sharem
Labour again taking us down a rabbit hole. As always it is more and more hand outs. Who is providing all the money for this certainly none of the increasing number of beneficiaries. Peter
Too many encouraged to not work Toni
Working gives you dignity plus a more positive outlook than relying on benefits and not achieving ANYTHING! Lyn
Words fail me even though the Government and its civil service are a bunch of clowns. shaun
typical of this govt, none of them have run a business of their own graeme
this dictatorial ‘government’ is doing a fine job of social engineering – yeah right Patrick
Dignity comes with independence and pride in your ability to support yourself and family. By taking personal responsibility. Yes we need a welfare system, ONE that gives a hand up and support to help you help yourself after unforeseen circumstances that tempoarily knocked you down. Rita
Communist mantra divide and rule Racist policies Greg
It is part of the Socialist agenda to make the masses dependant on the Heirachy/Govt. Why are we importing Horticulture labour etc into the country when the unemployed could be working. Christine
Everything Labour does sends our country in the wrong direction Chris
We are fast turning into an apartheid state which is divisive costly and will end in tears Alan
Gross political incompetence, if continued for another term would soon see us effectively ruled by ‘Putin like’ communist!! Jim
Advice from the PM: Just stay in bed we will pop the money around to your place. LOL  John
Benefit dependancy it bullshit Rod
To many bludgers, Work for goodness sake,LIKE WHITES DO) so many Maori that bludge on Labour’s FREEBES, NOTHINGS CHANGED FOR OVER 200 YEARS (Leader). Get write of this PARTY Ian
Giving more on welfare only creates more dependency instead of finding occupation and gaining self respect. Meredith
Labour is simply adding to the poverty trap with its policies. jill
Not a good move Debbie
All designed to keep people in dependency and vote for labour ian
Very wrong now incentives to work have been removed by this rogue government to ensure dependent voters. NZ will be bankrupted if we don’t get rid of this corrupt government ASAP Brenda
Relying on hand-outs is detrimental in so many way to one’s well-being. Tony
Labour is destroying NZ Susie
They are just buying votes and increasing taxes (incl indirect) for those bothering to work aka the real struggle street people. Mike
Welfare Dependancy is the first step in Communism to State control. Don
Wrong on ALL levels. Sad. Maddi
Honestly – is this even a question? Scott
Is there anyone at all in the Labour Party who has the intelligence to dig deeply into the consequences of any of their policies? jeff
The Labour is governing under the usual socialist ploy keep them poor, dependent and compliant. Ken
totally wrong gerard
Those stats are obvious in the community and in the tale of rising crime. Maurice
Accountability is lacking in all these issues john
Absolutely foolish and Samantha to the next generation. Bill
No one should be paid to have extra children regardless of circumstances. Too many people is the greatest cause of climate change. Sue
increasing payments =increasing demand = increasing dependency john
Welfare should be – as often said –  a hand up but not a hand out – but we now have 4th Generations of people on constant Welfare handouts. Hylton
Spend our taxes with no outcomes Steve
Insane policy to encourage dependency on the state. Louise
Totally wrong !!!!! In fact how wrong can you be in a democracy. As I have said before we MUST get rid of this extreme leftist so called “Government” Alan
The dearth of common sense and moral intelligence is impacting more and more as economic lunacy. Jim
The government is pandering to is voter base without any concern about the effects that their actions may have on the economy o0f the country or the willingness of the unemployed to seek employment Tony
As with everything this government lays its hands on its failure after failure and no one is responsible. Fathers should be paying to raise their offspring, and mothers should be better off in work. The kids certainly will be better off with 2 parents involved, even if the are separately involved. Mark
It is incredible that we have become a society where able- bodied people are not expected to work. I also think people who have children should have the means to support them, preferably at least one working parent. I agree this is the socialist ideology of making everyone dependent on the state. Janine
Everything about this Labour Government is going in the wrong direction. God defend New Zealand! vic
I am ready for civil war – this has gone too far Des
A prelude to the CCP social credit type system. We are being driven from outside forces and it has to stop. Neil
If you have a job you have satisfaction in life Warren
This nation like all others will fall apart should remaining tax payers be left with the burden of funding political welfare, those who feel they are too important to work. Ken
Current approach may seem a vote winner but in reality is not. Peter
When I married some ten years ago my wife was on the dole. She lost all rights as she was now my responsibility. Since then she has realised that the dole that she had liked was in fact holding her back. She is much more content now and more financially well off thanks to the work she now does As for current beneficiaries there needs to be real incentives and inducements to get off the gravy train. Such as work requirements, no more babies, naming the father. Also things such as payments via debit card that cannot be used for gambling booze and drugs etc and a requirement that social housing be kept in good condition and subject to un-notified inspection. Sorry we cannot do that sort of thing as that would demean the beneficiaries. However, taking a benefit is voluntary. Take our money and accept our rules The easy go attitude of our Communist Government will only increase dependency and poverty. Finally, one should lose the right to vote while on a benefit as it is really a conflict of interest Cookie
Not enough incentive to work Kevin
Very sad Murray
The work ethic is something so important for for believing in yourself. Without it people will languish at home believing that others should support them. This means generations of dependents, and sad family life. Carol
jacinda & her Economic Advisor promoting they want More NZ Businesses to FAIL , what utter non sensible approach in order to ensure increase in salaries & wages to all Kiwi’s  Pierre
Load in some pridefilled accountability. It’s demeaning daily to have no real purpose in life except to contribute to the carbon dioxide level by only breathing. mike
All of their policies to help have the opposite outcome but they won’t listen its called buying votes Maurice 
What do you expect from these people running the show? Nothing really because most of them have not held down a proper job for any period of time. How on earth that lot came into occupying positions of responsibility and power is a mystery to me. One thing is for sure : this whole affair will come crashing down into a stinking heap and we are left to cope with it . By then these morons will have disappeared into their respective gated communities ( where ever that is) Michael
Fudged figures and smoke and mirror figures doth not a thrivit country make. Jacqui
As for J Ardern and her Government, smart people are seeing through the “bullsh’t” and enough is enough. Chris
It is hard to understand how they think paying people more and more to not work somehow encourages people to look for work. There is something wrong in the wiring in a left leaning persons brains I guess. Andrew
These results are shocking and unsustainable Paul
More welfare greater the debt that this country slips into. Won’t be long before our expenditure exceeds our productivity and we go down the gurgler Andrew
Welfare dependency, forcing co-governance on us, not owning up to mistakes made during the lockdowns, trying to control our lives, the list goes on and on…. Angus
Labour can’t even play with the numbers without telling lies. Ray
Woke people do not want to understand what the word “right” means or what the word “wrong” means. They are oblivious to the outcomes of critical forward planning, sad to say. Henk
down, wet and drowning……! RICHard
Chaos and frustration in the making. How will we survive? John
Paying not to work is wrong. Graeme
Our nation has become a place where government payments are deemed a right Philip
The incentive to work is being (and has for some time been) disastrously eroded. Peter
Far too many on benefits and too few working. This leads to higher taxes and inflation with low efficiency. All the result of VERY POOR GOVERNMENT. Graeme
Hah, where are this bunch of genius’ going to get the spondulicks to fund all this. They can’t print any more money. They have printed so much that we are in danger of runaway inflation. They now have to kill inflation by driving the economy into recession.. They will do this by raising interest rates. That means higher mortgages and rents. That will be a huge help to those on welfare huh. On the other hand someone has to pay. Will they do this by raising taxes? Get Robertson & Madam Mao to explain that one. not. Terry
The modern Labour Party’s aim is to deepen dependency and trap more people on benefits so they can control them and take their vote. And that’s what Ardern and Robertson are doing as fast as they can. Graham
Intergenerational welfare dependency is so destructive to individuals and such a blight on society, yet left wing governments are never held to account for creating it. Instead they are congratulated for making the system “kinder” and more generous! Jason
Welfare is just another area of failure for Ardern and co. George
Why is welfare used as a political football? Surely it should be about the best interests of the child. Or is that asking too much of politicians – to put the public good ahead of their political ambitions??? Dianna
Welfare always becomes a disaster under Labour. But it takes so long for National to sort it out that just as it is improving, Labour get back in and wrecks it again! Pete