DPB mothers destined to dabble

Published: Fri 20 Sep 2002 09:36 AM
The government, with support from an unconvinced and unconvincing United Future, has just passed legislation scrapping work testing of the DPB . "This action is reprehensible," says Lindsay Mitchell, spokesperson for a growing group of New Zealanders who want to see a Parliamentary review of the DPB. "It flys in the face of logic and world trends." "A new report out of the United States shows that child poverty is at its lowest level in 20 years and the number of people on welfare has dropped from 13 million to 5.3 million. Why? Because since 1996 people have been required to work in order to receive welfare benefits. And work means work - it no longer means education or training."
According to Mitchell, "Writer, Dick Morris, says that prior to the 1996 reforms, when any kind of training counted as work, states let 'welfare mothers dabble at job training forever without actually working for their checks.' The numbers of welfare dependent families just kept growing and the generational cycle went uninterrupted."
A frustrated Mitchell continues,"This is the very path the Labour government is taking us down. Now there is no requirement for a DPB parent to work until their youngest child is 18. In order to be kept by the taxpayer year after year after year, all they must do is form a 'plan to work and demonstrate commitment.' "
"What a lot of vague nonsense that is. The harsh reality is, New Zealand has become a country where, if you work hard on your education, your job and your relationships, you simply end up paying dearly for the growing numbers of people who won't."
Mitchell concludes, "By passing this amorphous legislation the government has put out the welcome mat to thousands more who will be destined to 'dabble' while the rest of us work."
Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB ph/fx 04 562 7944 e-mail

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