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Will John Key risk welfare reform like the UK Tories?

  • November 4th, 2007

The Spectator suggests that David Cameron is being radical in a surprising direction. He is signalling a resumption of Blair’s soon stalled effort to implement Wisconsin style welfare reforms. They’ve been copied in various ways across the US, with stunning success – to the furious chagrin of the welfare industry academics.

If Cameron carries on as indicated he must have decided that the tolerance of the UK middle voters to the welfare scandal has at last worn out. Given the apparent parallels in the paths John Key and Cameron must trace, dare we hope for a similar exception to blandness here?

In my opinion welfare reform need not be scary to middle voters, provided it targets clear bludgers, not people who can not help themselves.

Similarly, a criminal justice reform along the lines of President Clinton’s 1996 triumph should be as saleable as Clinton made it.


  • Lindsay
  • November 4th, 2007
  • 6:11 pm

The US reforms tackled families, mainly mother-led single parent families, on welfare. While the UK has a problem with their ‘lone parent’ benefit it is nowhere near the problem they have with their incapacity benefits. There are around three times more people on those benefits. (Here the ration is around 1.2 to 1) Reading the article, I am not sure David Cameron appreciates this.
The Tories copying the US is just like National copying Australia. Easy to talk about.

  • Zaphod-Beeblbrox
  • August 6th, 2008
  • 10:25 am

hi steven

i think we have to create a system where the tools by which people may help themselves are freely avaliable and easilly accesible.
From my own experience I ended up on welfare and it was like a perpetual black hole sucking me down. Once on welfare it is virtually impossible to get off because basically no one wants to help you to help yourself. WINZ make a lot of talk about getting people into work, hells they even have work brokers whom are supposed to broker work for their clients yet in my experience winz staff have been the fattest lazy bludgers in the entire system, rarely doing anything to assist the client, and making it the clients job to find work, and treating the client like dirt if they didnt find work.
We must provide the resources to the unemployed. Unemployment is growing, so obviously the first resource we must provide is suitable employment. In this respect steven i think there must be a clear position taken by the next government that “If government makes an investment, and, such investment creates jobs, then those jobs MUST as a rule be allocated to those most in need of work, namely those registered unemployed, rather then having such jobs handed on a silver platter to foregners which is the common thing these days”. Too many NZ Jobs are being handed to foreign migrants, it makes one sick. I was lucky enough to get out of welfare depdendency because whenever i applied for work, i was turned down, and an indian would always get the job. Those people most in need of work namely the unemployed should have first crack i say.
Welfare dependency and constant job rejection causes depression. Welfarism is a downward cycle, however its not going to help by cutting benefits. We must provide the tools to these people. We must partner social welfare up with employers so that we have a welfare-work wage, whereby people are paid by both the state and the employer (50/50 split) to go to workplaces each day, and get practical hands on work experience rather then sitting around at home it would be much better to have people going out to the workplaces of their choice to get hands on workplace experience. Thus they get a bit of self-esteem and self-respect.
Lastly, if people get a certificate from their doctors to say that they are sick or infirm, we should leave it at that and stop hasseling them. There are some fakers on sickness and invalids benefit, but overall the majority are genuine cases.

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