The Green Party co-leader appeared on the show on Monday morning to discuss her party’s commitment to raising benefits by 20 percent, but was unable to say how much it would cost. . .
“I am staggered by the lack of facts and detailed knowledge that she showed in her interview with me this morning,” Garner said after the interview.
“No detail at all. She’s exposed herself as being underdone at best, and completely incompetent at worst. It’s called flaky. . .Flaky is a charitable description of the policy she couldn’t give costings for too:
“Increasing the baseline amounts for benefits is pretty clear. That increase hasn’t followed wage increases or inflation for far too long. And removing sanctions which we’ve been very, very vocal about, which is about trying going away from that punitive or punishing approach.Not only doesn’t she know the cost, she doesn’t know the current policy. Benefits do increase with inflation. When it’s low as it has been for some time, the increases aren’t big but they do increase with the cost of living. No sanctions? That means people who, for no good reason, don’t turn up for interviews, don’t try to find work, don’t pass drug and alcohol tests will face no consequences. People in work are expected to turn up in a fit state to work when and where required, what’s wrong with similar expectations for beneficiaries? No sanctions will also allow non-custodial parents to get away with making no contribution to the support of their children.
“Changing the threshold for benefit reductions. There are so many people who want to work, even part time, while raising young children in particular. But those incentives are just really clumsy, confusing , messy, and they don’t make it worth it,” Davidson said.It’s sad that people regard getting paid for work which gives them a measure of independence as not worth the effort. There might not be much difference financially but even a small increase on what comes from a benefit should be regarded as a bonus, especially when it could be a stepping stone to more work and eventual freedom from benefit dependence. Davidson is right that benefit abatement for people in part-time work are less than ideal, but the alternative is worse. If the benefit isn’t abated when people start earning, beneficiaries in part-time work would earn more than some people in full time work.
The Greens would also look at combining the in-work tax credit and family tax credit and making them less discriminatory.
They also wanted Work and Income to stay out of people’s personal lives by “moving towards entitlements based on individual needs rather than a blanket policies around starting new relationships and losing entitlements”, Davidson said.This would mean a beneficiary could be living with someone more than capable of supporting them both and any children, and still be able to keep claiming a benefit. National put a lot of effort into social investment based on the indisputable financial and human costs of benefit dependency. The Green policy would be social sabotage, creating an underclass of benefit dependents with neither the expectation nor hope that they might become self-supporting. They would turn the welfare safety net into a noose that would entrap people on benefits and saddle the rest of us with the financial and social costs that would result.