Everyone deserves a liveable income whether in paid employment or not; our society relies on a great deal of unpaid labour to function. A liveable income for everyone is only fair. And being fair is something that most New Zealanders pride themselves on.
The flip side of this is the amount of time spent worrying about unfairness. It is good to worry about unfairness if it is confined to worrying about people missing out on basic entitlements and taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Unfortunately these days it seems to have gone the other way. The focus is on people getting things others don’t think they are entitled to. Mainly directed at those who get very little by those who have already got a lot. Continue reading
Paula Bennett’s press release this week has sparked fears that the elections will descend into a beneficiary-bashing fest.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to embrace a social welfare system and has always been well regarded internationally because of that. It is one of our greatest achievements, along with being the first to give women the vote and declaring our nation nuclear free.
The recognition that the state should not just be there in the case of unexpected misfortune, but actively promote the welfare of all citizens, was innovative and visionary. It is what defines New Zealand as a great place to live. It means that we are all equal. Everybody can participate in the things that we all enjoy. Continue reading
New Zealand is widely credited with being the first country in the world to introduce a social welfare system at the beginning of last century. Once again we are leading the way in welfare but this time not in a good way, the Alliance Party believes. We have become the first country to commission an actuarial valuation of our benefit system for working age adults. Continue reading
The Alliance says a documentary screening tomorrow on child poverty in New Zealand is an indictment on the failed right wing policies of the last generation. Continue reading
John Key’s latest plan to hound young unemployed people with “micro case management”, whatever that means, and other punitive measures, as a callous political stunt. Continue reading