Is welfare part of the problem?

Is poverty driving family break-ups?

Surprise Census figures suggest that poverty may be breaking up the nuclear family. . .

Wellington analyst Paul Callister and Statistics NZ demographer Robert Didham said in Auckland poverty was increasingly concentrated because of housing costs.

“What you are seeing in Auckland is a real sorting effect in the housing market, it’s pushing the sole parents into certain areas,” Dr Callister said.

He said the welfare system meant many couples were better off by separating. Welfare entitlements are based on family income, so if one person loses a job they can’t get a benefit if their partner is working. . .

Lindsay Mitchell points out that this isn’t a chicken or egg scenario:

For a nuclear family to “break-up” it has to exist first. In 2012 the proportion of unmarried births was 48 percent. In the same year, 21 percent of babies born were dependent on welfare – usually the DPB – by Christmas. Around half of these children will spend 7 or more years in the benefit system.

It isn’t poverty driving family disintegration. It’s the availability and heavy use of welfare. This is particularly prevalent amongst Maori because welfare incomes are close to incomes from low paid, unskilled jobs.

As the article notes, “Education is also a powerful factor.” Exactly. In time females with qualifications and aspirations may choose not to embark on a career of poverty-stricken single parenthood. Then again, as long as it’s a seemingly ‘easy’ option the pattern of single mothering and subsequent hardship will continue.

If welfare is regarded as a preferred option for people it is part of the poverty problem, not the solution.

Welfare has a place for those unable to look after themselves, some of those will require long-term, possibly permanent assistance.

But for most recipients it should be a temporary safety net not a long-term hammock.

This is why this government’s policies which are addressing long-term benefit dependency are helping those who can help themselves to do so.

6 Responses to Is welfare part of the problem?

  1. Andrei says:

    It isn’t poverty driving family disintegration. It’s the availability and heavy use of welfare.

    This isn’t a bug in the system – its a feature.

    What our elites don’t realize is how far classical Marxism has invaded the thinking of our political elites (even the ones who call themselves center right) and that Marxist trojan horses have been used to subvert just about every “social policy” in order to advance the nirvana Marxism is supposed to bring – it wont of course

  2. Angry Tory says:

    Welfare isn’t part of the problem. It is the whole problem.
    To be clear: welfare isn’t just the dole & DPB – it’s also the codger-dole (National™ Super); health; and state-funded education (state schools, integrated schools and charter schools).

    Welfare has a place for those unable to look after themselves, some of those will require long-term, possibly permanent assistance.

    no it doesn’t. It just doesn’t.

    As Andrei and Kathryn Ryan both pointed out: there’s a name for this policy – communism

  3. Andrei says:

    Welfare has a place for those unable to look after themselves, some of those will require long-term, possibly permanent assistance.

    no it doesn’t. It just doesn’t.

    You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried Angry Tory.

    The vast majority of us want to live in a humane and generous society where we as a matter of principal look out for and after one another especially those who suffer misfortune.

    It is how we build such a society that is the question and it is looking to Big Government and compulsion via law (which is ultimately backed up by the threat of physical violence against those who do not comply with it) to achieve this is where the error lies.

    The Government should facilitator free citizens taking care of one another not be the hander outer of favours

    1 Corinthians 13
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

  4. Andrei says:

    The trouble with the wordpress commenting system is that it is not possible to correct grammer and typos after a comment is entered and my previous comment suffers several.

    So lets redo the key paragraphs

    The vast majority of us want to live in a humane and generous society where we as a matter of principal principle look out for and after one another especially those who suffer misfortune.

    It is how we build such a society that is the question and it is looking to Big Government and compulsion via law (which is ultimately backed up by the threat of physical violence against those who do not comply with it) to achieve this is where the error lies.

    The Government should be the facilitator for free citizens taking care of one another not be the hander outer of favours.

    And it is how we build such a society that is the $64,000 question and this is what we should be working out through robust debate during this election campaign season, and not wasting our time on Kim Dotcom, Judith Collins glass of Milk or Meturia Turei’s dress sense.

    All are guilty this “ya boo sucks you’ve got sticky out ears” politics turns me off and drives me to despair and is leading this country to perdition.

    But I’ll tell you something the answers for the most part do not lie in Government setting policies but in Government providing Leadership

  5. homepaddock says:

    Andrei – the policy this government introduced to address the problem of long-term benefit dependence and help those who can work to do so is good policy and it’s working.

    I agree with the importance of leadership.

  6. Andrei says:

    the policy this government introduced to address the problem of long-term benefit dependence and help those who can work to do so is good policy and it’s working.

    Sure but that is just fiddling around the edges. And while on individual basis there may be some success (which is to be applauded) as a major fix, a total paradigm shift it is a big nothing

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