Thursday, September 13, 2012

Logical Conclusion

It's been a running joke that every time Key's government is in trouble, it gets Paula Bennett to announce some new crackdown on beneficiaries - or re-announce one, if they're short of ideas for new ones at the time.

The approach seems to be rapidly coming to its logical conclusion - the descent into farce.  I had thought the govt was scraping the bottom of the barrel with the re-announcement of drug-testing for beneficiaries, but no, they really aren't going to stop just because they've reached the point of looking like vindictive morons.  Now, they've come up with a double-whammy of malicious stupidity:

First, the stupid: making school attendance compulsory for beneficiaries' children.  Now, I may be expecting too much of right-wing politicians here, but shouldn't an NZ government  be familiar with the Education Act 1989?

Second, the malicious:  compulsory professional childcare.  This is the kind of authoritarian idiocy I could almost picture coming from a Labour govt in its death throes, but a National one?  Seriously?  Of course, Labour wouldn't make it compulsory only for beneficiaries - that kind of extra little vindictive twist is a National specialty.

22 comments:

The Veteran said...

Milt ... you're right. There is a revolution going on in the way Govt hands out 'our' money.

It's based on the simple concept that those in receipt of welfare benefits (oooops, should read 'entitlements' but benefits will do) have obligations.

Something that those who bat on the dark side of politics run a mile from.

There has to be a paradigm shift in the provision of welfare benefits. The old system encourages dependency and the old system is broke. Paula Bennett has the balls to fix it .... been there, done that and knows, not like her Ivory Tower, chardonnay swilling adversaries.

Mighty Kites said...

Paula Benefit, the hypocrite who was happy to use the welfare system to lift herself out of poverty but doesn't want anyone else to use it. Bennett has zero credibility

The Veteran said...

Mighty Kites ... an apologist for failure.

Just what part of the status quo is a busted flush don't you understand or, more importantly, want to understand.

Enjoy the chardonnay.

sigh

Andrei said...

Yep - it is all just boilerplate to rouse the troops.

There are significant and real problems here, ones that are entirely above the capabilities of the Nats or Labour for that matter to address so they piss about, flailing as the ship is sinking

Psycho Milt said...

Veteran: if the govt wants to start actually enforcing the law relating to compulsory education, good on it. Declaring it a crackdown on beneficiaries, though? Just a comedy act to distract from the failure of other policies.

As for the "obligation" to put your kids in professional childcare, whatever's in that pipe Bennett should smoke less of it.

The Veteran said...

Hmmmmmm .... fascinating comments. Lets start with the drug testing for beneficiaries.

Are you really arguing that it's ok for those on the unemployment benefit to do drugs preventing them from working? I am aware of a major forestry owner up here in the Far North who can't get staff. Becauise of the nature of the work they have a mandatory drug testing policy in force. Approx 30% of those referred to them by WINZ fail the test ... and you're defending that?

Strange set of values indeed.

And for the second leg of the double (and it would help PM if you detailed the entire policy change) pray tell just what's wrong with requiring children to ....

1. To attend 15 hours a week early childhood education from age three where it is available (to better prepare themselves for school).

2. To attend school from age five or six.

3 To be enrolled with a General Practitioner, and

4. To complete core WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks.

PM and MK ... I can understand your 'confusion'. It goes with your territory.

Andrei .... as a spuposed Conservative stop bleating and give us your prescription for change.


Andrei said...

It is simple Veteren, restore the nuclear family to its rightful place as the atomic unit of society.

Hold in honour those who take care of their own and treat with scorn and derision those who don't or who do not want to play along with the norm of husband, wife and children and go into some fantasy land and expect us all to play along with their charades.

Two generations to destroy what was a healthy culture, it will take at least two to restore it and the time has probably already run out

baxter said...

Rosemary McLeod sums the problem up pretty well.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/rosemary-mcleod/7665551/Gang-kids-at-risk-of-going-hungry

The Veteran said...

Baxter ... except dear old Rosemary wasn't addressing the issue under discussion ... she was supporting the free meals in schools programme which Labour is promising to enhance for low decile schools.

More parental responsibility going 'west' then.

Noel said...

Psycho Milt said
"shouldn't an NZ government be familiar with the Education Act 1989?"

I presume this is in regard to section 25 para 2 "Boards of Trustees etc.

Good point unless it's changed to include "Beneficiaries" or more fairly "all parents" it is potential conflict.




Noel said...

Sorry Psyco Milt.
I didn't read section 29.
Amazing there is a penalty for all parents in the 1989 Act.
Why then single out one group of parents?

Psycho Milt said...

Are you really arguing that it's ok for those on the unemployment benefit to do drugs preventing them from working?

Drugs preventing them from working? If they're not under the influence of a drug (alcohol, for instance) at work, their use of it is not preventing them from working, is it? A drug test for alcohol would show me using it every day, but I don't turn up for work under the influence. Anytime politicians volunteer to have their pay cut off if drug tests show they've drunk alcohol in the last month, I'll feel better about them volunteering beneficiaries for similar treatment.

As to what's wrong with:

To attend 15 hours a week early childhood education from age three where it is available (to better prepare themselves for school).

You're kidding, right? If a Labour govt proposed compulsory professional childcare, the howls of outrage and cries of "Nanny State" from National MPs would be deafening. When the govt has the bollocks to try and apply this to all parents, I'll show the corpses of its MPs' political careers all due respect.

To attend school from age five or six.

Nothing wrong with it all, which, er, is why it's compulsory already. Has the govt considered actually enforcing the existing laws rather than creating new ones?

To be enrolled with a General Practitioner

Maybe Bennett can tell us what's wrong with it. There must be something objectionable about compelling people to do it, because she's been careful not to propose compelling National's supporters.

To complete core WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks

Likewise. I wouldn't have a clue whether my kids completed these or not, and some jumped-up clipboard-wielder attempting to order me to confirm compliance with it would be likely to get an unpleasant earful.

Psycho Milt said...

I didn't read section 29.
Amazing there is a penalty for all parents in the 1989 Act.


Yep, that's the one. I don't expect Paula Bennett to know her arse from her elbow, but surely she has public servants to point this stuff out?

Exclamation Mark said...

Blogger Andrei said...

" It is simple Veteren, restore the nuclear family to its rightful place as the atomic unit of society."

Sure it's simple Andrei, we'll just force all those unmarried mothers to marry... who exactly? The fathers of their children? That would make for an awful lot of polygamy.

I agree that a nuclear family is the ideal way to raise children, but just wishing that every disadvantaged child belonged to one isn't going to make it a reality, which is why these reforms are practical: forcing the parents of the kids most likely to end up sick/hungry/abused/dead to either look after them properly or regularly present them to organisations that are likely to identify the neglect.

Andrei said...

Lol Exclamation Mark

No matter what we do there will always be deprived kids in our society, what we have foolishly done is to subsidize their conception and creation for two actually probably three generations now.

At the same time our cultural elite, who should be leading by example are often just as trashy as the poor or worse but being advantaged get away with their slovenly actions and behaviour.

Need a cultural change from top to bottom it is the only way out and it is not going to happen

Psycho Milt said...

...what we have foolishly done is to subsidize their conception and creation for two actually probably three generations now.

Three definitely, given the generation gap for wasters isn't much over 15 years. And that's the nettle this govt won't grasp, any more than previous ones did.

Viking said...

Second, the malicious: compulsory professional childcare. This is the kind of authoritarian idiocy I could almost picture coming from a Labour govt in its death throes, but a National one? Seriously? Of course, Labour wouldn't make it compulsory only for beneficiaries - that kind of extra little vindictive twist is a National specialty.


The point.
There is no difference.

Noel said...

The high power Welfare Working Group also never considered the existing act. But it didn't recomment halving the benefit.
Recommendation 27: Parenting obligations.
a) The Welfare Working Group recommends that every recipient receiving a welfare payment who is caring for children be required to meet the following expectations:
1. Ensure their children are attending school when they are legally required to;
2. Ensure their children participate in approved early childhood education once their child reaches 3 years of age; and
3. Ensure their children complete the 12 free Wellchild/Tamariki Ora health include completion of the immunisation schedule , unless they make an informed choice not to;
And that failure to meet these expectations after efforts to address reason for non- compliance would result in the recipient’s income been managed by a third-part or some other means, such as a payment card

Anonymous said...

Following from Bennetts briefing paper


"Then proposed sanctions regime …will lead to a financial penalty for continued non-compliance. Except where failure to ensure school attendance has been the subject of a prosecution under the Education Act 1989 so as not to impose a double penalty for the same failure."

But with the admission in the same paper

"Conviction and fines under the Education Act 1989 are an option for non-compliance but prosecutions are rare."
that act wont be paramount.

Noel said...

The Veteran said
"To attend 15 hours a week early childhood education from age three where it is available (to better prepare themselves for school)."

Early childhood agencies are gagging on that one wondering whose got the facilities for the extra children.

Just as well there is an provision where you only have to register and if there are no positions not have your benefit affected.

Science that the Welfare Working Group accepted suggests that 15 hrs per week of structured education between three and five years is beneficial. I haven't seen any longitudinal study.

Probably to early for it to have been tested.

Lofty said...

Does the 15 hours include those "good" parents who want to educate their children at home?

I understand why she is trying to break the cycle of dependency, and on one hand I applaude it, but on the other I agree with PM, this is stae interfrence in the upbringing of children, Nats have no place doing this, there must be a better way than state imposition

exclamation Mark said...

Let's hear it then Lofty, the status quo sure as fuck isn't working for these children.