The Resilient Economy The Current Welfare Reform Debate: Time to Engage Sue Bradford September 2010

www.fabians.org.nz 1

Sue Bradford Fabian Society 13 Sept 2010

This year’s onslaught   Future

Focus Bill   Government Welfare Working Group   Industrial relations reforms

Future Focus • More

SB/IB pushed into work • UB 1 yr+ have to reregister • DPB w children 6+ worktested

       

Est April 2010, reports Feb 2011 Welfare Forum, VUW June Issues Paper 9 August - subs close 17 Sept Second paper due out November

 

Members:

◦  Paula Rebstock (chair) ◦  Catherine Isaac ◦  Prof Des Gorman ◦  Prof Kathryn McPherson ◦  Ass Prof Ann Dupuis ◦  Sharon Wilson-Davis ◦  Adrian Roberts ◦  Enid Ratahi Pryor

Reduce long term benefit dependence   Opportunities for SB/IB to enter pd work   How we might learn from ACC/insurance models   Consider whether structure of system contributes to ‘dependence’  

  NZ

Super

  Health/ACC

interface ‘careful navigation’

  Tax

benefit interface, WFF

  Benefit

levels

  Manufacturing

a crisis with shonky stats   Insurance model   Move on IB/SB   Time limited benefits, minimising IB nos   Ignoring realities of access to paid work

  Only

40 – 45% qualify   Precarious work   Women 10% lower uptake   Lower income = lower payments   Employers, workers pay   Default scheme v low

(with thanks to Jim Stanford)

  HLFS

Aug – 6.8%   Annual incr – 16.2%   159,000 officially u/ed   255,700 jobless   Maori rate: 16.4%, PI 14.1%, Eur 4.4%   End June: 333,000 on main benefits   21% caring for under 6s

  Where   Maori

are the jobs?

blamed –again

    What

does ‘personal support’ really mean?

  No

govt commitment to job creation

  Established

8 July ff Govt WWG forum

  Caritas,

Anglican SJC, BAFNZ fundraised & commissioned

Members:   Mike O’Brien, Sue Bradford, Bishop Muru Walters, Mamari Stephens, Wendi Wicks, Paul Dalziel.

  Operate

for 6 mths

only   Submissions – close 30 Sept   Series of public workshops   Report delivered 9 December at Parliament

  Welfare:

underpinning principles?

  Applied,

or not? – where, what & how?

  Ideas

for positive change?

  Scrap

Social Security Act & start again

  Incorporate

In Work Tax Credit/Family Tax Credit – treat all children the same

  Universality   Sufficiency   Simple

to max extent possible “





to administer – 2 tier system

  Respect

– listening   Full entitlements   Effective complaints & review processes   Staff treated well, incl good training & support   Funding for beneficiary advocacy

  Link

to worker issues – 90 days/ beneficiaries – good wages & conditions, unionised wkforce helps everybody   Job maintenance & creation, incl support for community sector role   Personalised support – DPB/IB/SB realities   Awareness of employers’ realities   Training & education

  UBI

– A universal tax credit/tax rebate available to every adult alongside a high progressive tax rate

  Beneficiaries

& families already adversely impacted

  Welfare

threat

  Human

system under

toll is & will be enormous if continue down this track

We need to:   Defend the welfare state, at a minimum   Engage in the reform debates   Develop & promote strong, viable alternatives   Take action, & support others’ actions

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