The Welfare Working Group’s pronouncement that the benefit system is unsustainable is not unexpected.
One of the reasons our economic growth is so slow is that the number of people getting some or all of their income from the public purse is so high.
The people hurt most by this are those on low wages who find themselves little if any better off than some on benefits.
Those who can work should do so and changing incentives sp people are less likely to go on them and move off them more quickly is one way to reduce the welfare burden.
The report also echoes Ms Rebstock’s call for New Zealand to look at insurance-based welfare systems, like those in Canada, where workers pay insurance premiums.
“Unlike an insurance-based system, the [existing] benefit system has weak incentives for people to reduce the chance of adverse events occurring,” the report says.
This would make sickness more like accidents where workers and businesses pay premiums.
I am cautiously supportive of that.
Having more people in work and paying net tax would reduce the welfare burden which has benefits for the people concerned and society as a whole.