Friday 8 March 2024

"The only way forward is to go back to the concept of 'deserving' and 'undeserving' "

"It has been clear for decades that NZ's approach to welfare has gone awry. The late Roger Kerr, of the NZ Business Roundtable, once said to me, 'The only way forward is to go back to the concept of 'deserving' and 'undeserving'.' ...
    "Between the passage of the Social Security Act in 1938 and the early 1970s the percentage of working-age people on a benefit never exceeded two. Today it stands at almost twelve, with the time people stay dependent growing every year.
    "As a society we have created this level of reliance by believing and acting on a bad idea. That we must not judge others. We must not mention their faults and shortcomings. We must bend over backwards to not blame the person responsible for their own troubles. That's the kindness and compassion we are taught to aspire to. ...
    "I would vouch that the majority of New Zealanders want to help people who, through no fault of their own, need a benefit and public housing. But that willingness does not extend to people who chronically cause their own misfortune."

~ Lindsay Mitchell, from her post 'Is real change on the cards?'


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