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LINDSAY MITCHELL: Welfare and the wasted opportunity

MSD released its annual report for 2022/23 yesterday. There is bad news. The average future years expected on a main benefit has increased yet again.


The crosses below indicate failed direction of trend which is explained with: "This KPI did not meet the direction because of less favourable economic forecasts (including higher unemployment rates), lower exit rates and changes in our client mix from those requiring support during the COVID-19 pandemic."





But hang on. The direction has been wrong since 2017. Here are the figures from last year’s annual report.






Apart from after the first nationwide lockdown the unemployment rate (depicted by the red line below) has generally decreased from 4.9 to 3.6 percent.






Against a backdrop of a mostly strong labour market MSD has overseen a substantial rise in the time people are staying dependent on welfare.


Unlike the previous National government, the Labour government did not set an official target of reducing dependency. Rather MSD measures their ‘success’ in building trust and confidence in clients; in timeliness of access and availability of assistance; in equity of outcomes for Maori; client satisfaction with family violence services; and in building awareness of and access to support.


This ‘kindness’ arose from recommendations by the Cindy Kiro-led Welfare Expert Advisory Group convened by the incoming Ardern government of 2017. MSD would counter criticism claiming that they have generally met their KPIs built around these measures.


But what does the funder of MSD (the productive taxpayer) actually want to see?


Not numbers like these:





What taxpayers want (those of us who voted for change anyway) is a return to welfare for the genuinely needy. For those who have suffered misfortune through no fault of their own and cannot be self-sustaining.


Labour squandered a rare opportunity to significantly reduce welfare dependency. While the borders were closed thousands could have taken up the employment opportunities presented. Instead, numbers on welfare stagnated and the time spent there only got longer.


It is absolutely critical for the new government to turn this around. With an ageing population and declining birth rate (also faced by the other countries we compete with), labour force shortages will continue.


The new government doesn’t need to cut benefits. They just need to require anyone who can work to take the job on offer.


In the long run that would be the far kinder option for all parties concerned.



Lindsay Mitchell blogs here

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47 Comments


Robyn Hutchison
Robyn Hutchison
Oct 24, 2023

If the government gave a toss (& they don't) they would start by addressing the health and unemployment issues that they created. The plan is to have everyone State-dependent for the purpose of optimal control. For God's sake, wake up,!

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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Oct 26, 2023
Replying to

Damn straight up and true. God bless and have a lovely evening.

Cheers Aaron 👍

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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Oct 23, 2023

I couldn't give a red fuck about all the graphs, all the un declaration bullshit and I don't care or subscribe to the reasons given as truth by any government that hides behind indolent laziness breed into the stupid swallowers that believe money is free and immediately available from my back pocket to ensure an existence of failure.

Let me make this crystal fucking clear.

You work for a living, pay your freight to be able to free yourself of this poison, this awful debilitating reliance upon the state that isn't interested in you.

Only your money. And you eschew and cast away their socialist rot, their vision of faliure, and you give them the middle finger 🖕 square u…

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What's to be concerned about based on long term trends published by Stats. NZ? Is the economy growing as labour costs rise? A skills shortage will see employers struggling to find qualified workers, leading to wage inflation as employers compete to attract and retain workers, so items & services cost more, the cost of living rises, so those on welfare must be paid more in order to survive?






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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Oct 22, 2023

Where to start? Right here.

The welfare system has been systematically hijacked and taken over by people that have absolutely no interest in veiwing work as an ethic , a goal to aspire to or a means to self independence.

The social welfare system in new Zealand has become a vicious plughole of despair for those able to work and continually offered up excuses as to why they are unable to make that leap. Excuse after Excuse of not attending job interviews, simply because they know they can get free money , courtesy of the taxpayer, to lie on the couch and pick and choose.

To me, we need to get to the root cause of this never ending cancer…


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Replying to

Years of self-entitlement arises from years of Government interpretation of the United Nations declarations it signed up to. Those declarations focus on "self-entitlement". The terms have been misinterpreted in the NZ modern economy. and converted to socialist values at the cost of the taxpayers.


Take Article 25 (1) that reads: 'Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.'


In other words, many in NZ can ensure that they live in "circumstances"…



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If you move to or live in the boondocks (and there is plenty of regions like that in NZ) then welfare dependency is assured. It a nice quiet life in the boondocks (if not mustering sheep or working for DOC). Views of the sea, fishing a few times a week in an idealic northern sandy beach location to sell the catch to Auckland fish markets for cash, and collect welfare that grows if having a few kids as well. There is no welfare rules for location to be on welfare and unlikely few jobs in the boondocks, let alone higher education or health care. Oh dear, Government better assist to help further. How about some prezzy cards as well to…

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Replying to

Great for the Drug dealers out of sight out of mind. The local police had a great catch the other day In one of Dunedins many Boondock settlements One more dealer out of the system for a few days until some soft brained Judge lets them go home 😡😡

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