The Welfare Working Group and the back to the future work-for-dole fallacy

Here’s some more information to support my argument that the Welfare Working Group’s recommendations (PDF) are driven by far right ideology rather by evidence. At page 23 of its report, the Welfare Working Group recommends:

…a credible work for welfare scheme be established, in order to test the willingness of a small group of recipients to comply with their job search obligations, such as in situations of six months on welfare for no apparent reason, or earlier if there are successive work test failures. The work for welfare scheme could require a recipient to engage in a compliance activity for a period.

I recall reading a Ministry of Social Development and Department of Labour joint report evaluating the efficacy of the 1990s work for welfare schemes shortly after I was elected to Parliament.  So I went hunting for it, and here is what I found (MSWord, at pages 60 and 61):

The evidence from New Zealand is that work experience programmes have mixed results.  As Table 16 illustrates, participating in Community Work Experience programmes with no wage subsidy decreases the probability of becoming independent of W&I assistance in the first two years after starting a placement.  After two years there is almost no difference in the probability of participants and non-participants being independent of W&I assistance. … (my emphasis)

Table 16 Estimated probability of being independent of W&I assistance as a participant and non-participant in a Community Work Experience programme with no wage subsidy (MSD 2002)

Lapse Period 0.5 years 1 years 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years
Programme Group
Community Taskforce Participants 20% 31% 39% 44% 49% 53%
Non- participants 26% 33% 40% 45% 50% 54%
Impact ratio 0.77 0.94 0.97 0.97 0.97 0.98
Expanded Community Taskforce Participants 20% 28% 39% 47% 51%
Non- participants 23% 30% 39% 46% 51%
Impact ratio 0.83 0.94 1.00 1.02 1.00
Community Work Participants 17% 26% 38% 47%
Non- participants 24% 31% 40% 48%
Impact ratio 0.70 0.85 0.95 0.98
Activity-in-the-Community Participants 18% 26%
Non- participants 25% 32%
Impact ratio 0.75 0.80

Notes: Estimation Technique: Outcomes regression of propensity weighted comparison group and participants. Population includes all Community Work Experience participants between 1996 and 2001 inclusive. Source: MSD administrative data, 2002.

Yes, that’s right – work for the dole schemes such as the Welfare Working Group is promoting are not just degrading to beneficiaries forced to participate in them.  They undermine real job creation by displacing paid workers, actually reducing employment opportunities.

Work for the dole schemes, on the evidence, simply do not work to get beneficiaries into employment.

They actually decrease the likelihood of people moving off benefit into paid work. What sort of ideological, evidence-averse parallel universe do the members of and advisers to the Welfare Working Group live in? But Paula Bennett still rules nothing out from the Welfare Working Group’s bizarre recommendations.

63 thoughts on “The Welfare Working Group and the back to the future work-for-dole fallacy

  1. sprout says “So, Photonz1, to paraphrase your reasons….”

    Sprout – you should stick with what I ACTUALLY say, instead of making things up in you head that I haven’t said.

    That way you wouldn’t get things completely wrong.

  2. sprout – rather than being a “major part of the ciriculum”, your links show
    – there was a trial, just for one term, just in ten schools.
    – the majority of school leavers are financially illiterate
    – a really good “resource” has been set up on a website, for teachers to use if they ever decide to do so.

    This is the sort of thing I’m talking about, but it needs to be a compulsory weekly (or even more regular) subject for all high school students.

    This subject will probably have a bigger impact on their future lives than any other they take.

  3. So, Photonz1, to paraphrase your reasons for poor people having too many children, they are:
    1) Single parents are a key cause of higher birth rates and a lack of education about the pitfalls of not marrying.
    2) Poor people are actually paid more than they need and cutting their incomes even more will solve the problem.
    3) Poor people not knowing the meaning of hard work (presumably if they were working hard they would be too tired to procreate).

    Hmm…I think I’ll stick with providing more jobs, better wages and access to a high standard of public education.

  4. sprout – sounds like a good solution.

    However it’s a very complex situation with a myriad of issues. Here’s just one, though a big one. 30% of children live in households with one parent.

    Having a larger percentage of more cohesive two parent families would have huge benefits for their financial position, and their children, taxpayers etc.

    And I’m not sure how you’d do that, but one idea is back to my pet project of financial education in schools – from a young age making teenagers crystal clear about the differences between one and two parent families.

    We recently had friends split up and they’re blown away by how different their financial situations are. They knew if would be harder, but they didn’t realise by how much.

    They’ve gone from saving money to using their savings to live. They have to cut back further and further until they can live within their means.

    As you say, education is a good way to get out of poverty. I also believe that there should be enough oportunities that simple hard work should do the same thing. No everyone can become a doctor, but most people can work hard.

    And if you do, and are wise with your money, I beleive you should also be able to get ahead, without a high level qualification.

    I know a lot of people who have done this.

    But there was of course the prerequisite – “if you are wise with your money”.

    Most people on all sorts of income levels, are not.

    Hence, back to the idea of financial education at high school level.

  5. So what is your solution, Photonz1? Mine would be to ensure that those poor struggling parents have well paying jobs to properly support their children and the children should receive a high standard of education to lift their skills and aspirations.

  6. Todd says “Deprivation Decile (least to most deprived) 1 to 10 when the actual proper decile is most to least deprived.”

    Wrong. Decile simple means 1/10th.

    Decile 1 is the lowest 10% of what you are measuring. Decile 10 is the greatest 10% of what you are measuring.

    For school regions, they are measuring wealth, so decile 1 is the least wealthy.

    The graph I linked to measures deprivation, so decile 1 is the least deprived.

    Decile 10 for measuing intelligence is the most intelligent 10% of people.

    Decile 1 for measuring stupidity is the most intelligent 10% of people.

    As you have quoted, the graph very clearly states how it should be read – “(least to most deprived)”

    You asked for further proof that poor families have more children – here’s another –

    “The birth rate in Counties Manukau’s District Health Board’s most deprived areas in 2007 was more than three times higher than the birth rate in its least deprived areas.”

    from
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0vtzeigC4JEJ:www.ipp.org.nz/news/Slides.pptx+birth+rate+poverty&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=nz&source=www.google.co.nz

  7. agreed toad

    it would be another short sighted piece of legislation that would only serve to massage the ego’s of those who are not in that situation, and gain them votes from other short sighted like minded people. And would only serve to increase the income gap. which in turn helps no one. The poor get poorer and the rich get angrier.

    less reliance on material gain would make everyone happier

  8. @ineedawash 8:31 AM

    It’s not just that, ineedawash. The higher deprivation deciles contain a significant proportion of first or second generation migrants from countries that have no state welfare system. With the exception of China (because of that country’s population policy) they have traditionally had high fertility rates as an insurance that in old age or if they become incapacitated early in life, people will have adult children to look after them. That is part of the culture of migrants from such countries – it doesn’t just disappear because they find themselves in a country that has a welfare system that provides them with at least a subsistence.

    The irony for those who advocate pruning back New Zealand’s welfare system is that such an action would probably increase birth rates here, particularly among the more socio-economically deprived, for that very reason.

  9. Photonz1

    Do you have any further proof that poor families have more children? As you’re well known for producing false or manipulated information, I am not convinced that your assertion is correct. I personally think the graph is defunct because it states: Deprivation Decile (least to most deprived) 1 to 10 when the actual proper decile is most to least deprived.

    Why would the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee change the deprivation scale unless it is a mistake?

  10. of course more deprived families have higher birth rates. sex is free and fun! what’s wrong with that?

  11. Ah, now I see, photonz1. You were referring to Statistics NZ’s New Zealand Index of Deprivation. You and Todd were talking about different indices completely, hence the confusion, and Todd linking to the Ministry of Education added to it. A little more clarity in your original comment would have helped avoid the confusion.

    Although that index takes into account far more than just income levels, you are correct in this instance (although not with some of your other assertions on this thread) – more deprived families tend to have higher birth rates.

  12. Proportion of Adults on a benefit approximately 1/5th 20%. Proportion of children living on a benefit 20%. Hardly an indication of beneficiaries out breeding working people. Especially as the majority of beneficiaries are only on a benefit for a short time.

    Yes I did see that graph. Dosn’t fit with other statistics on the incomes and number of children families have. I suspect it is mislabeled.

  13. What graph, photonz1? I may have missed it, but I didn’t see you link to one.

    Anyway, the clarification I cited re the deciles at 6:13 PM is the Ministry of Education’s, not mine.

  14. frog – your clarification on deciles is NOT correct for the graph.

    Decile, is simply 1/10th. Nothing more, nothing less.
    – If you order deciles 1-10 from rich to poor, decile 10 is poor,
    – If you order deciles 1-10 from poor to rich, decile 10 is rich.

    So decile 10, on a 1 to 10 scale, from “least to most deprived”, means decile 10 is most deprived.

    However if your try to use deciles from a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT system, (like deciles used in WEALTH rankings – not poverty rankings, such as those used for school rankings), that would make you completely wrong.

    So you (and Todd and Kerry) have completely reversed what is clearly and plainly stated –

    – that the deciles are for “DEPTRVATION DECILES” ranked 1-10 “least to most deprived”.

    I can’t believe we are debating basic graphs that are clearly and plainly labelled.

  15. “So making those already working, pay even more tax, and have to work even longer hours to get the same income, will fix this?”

    Eh? I never suggested, inferred or implied people should pay more tax. I was thinking of (a) paying people decent wages so both parents didn’t have to work, or (b) redeveloping society from the ground up with no taxes and no employment.

  16. http://www.nzchildren.co.nz/child_poverty.php

    As 75% of all house holds are living below the poverty line the actual distribution of children vs household income does not support Photo’s hypothesis.

    “In New Zealand the proportion of children aged 0-18 years who were reliant on a benefit, or benefit recipient, fell from 24.9% in April 2000 to 17.3% in April 2008, before increasing again to 19.7% in April 2010″.

  17. The graph appears to be incorrect as well phot… It states:

    Deprivation Decile (least to most deprived). However Decile 1 is the most deprived.

    Basing your assumption on an incorrect graph is not helpful.

  18. toad says “That is very close to a eugenics argument photonz1: “Stop the poor from breeding!”

    No – quite different. It’s simply trying to get them to do what everyone else does.

    Stop having children when you can’t afford to have more.

  19. Kerry says “Decile 10 is the wealthiest areas.”

    Before going off and criticising everything, you should check you’ve read it correctly.

    The deciles are for deprivation – not wealth.

  20. @photonz1 5:48 PM

    That is very close to a eugenics argument photonz1: “Stop the poor from breeding!”

    Mind you, the eugenics position is pretty much what the WWG is proposing too:

    The Working Group considers that one component of addressing this incentive is to provide support for people on welfare to manage their fertility, including through contraception and information about expectations.

  21. Todd says “If we factor in the mistake by yourself and the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee photonz1, it would appear that decile 10 areas (wealthier) have approximately twice as many children as decile 1 (poorer) areas. Unless you can actually provide some proper evidence, I would conclude that your assumption is incorrect.”

    It’s not that difficult Todd.

    The graph clearly states the deciles are for deprivation – not wealth.

  22. Photo. Decile 10 is the wealthiest areas. You are right to say they should be prevented from having children as the children of the wealthiest use the most resources while doing the least work.

    If they are going to grow up to be currency traders or merchant bankers then their parents should be forcibly sterilised now!

    http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/bit-rich
    While collecting salaries of between £500,000 and £10 million, leading City bankers to destroy £7 of social value for every pound in value they generate.

    Ps. Photo. Always wondered where you got your numbers from as they seemed a bit strange.

  23. A school’s Decile indicates the extent to which it draws its students from low socio-economic communities. Decile 1 schools are the 10% of schools with the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic communities. Decile 10 schools are the 10% of schools with the lowest proportion of these students.

    Are you getting this wrong on purpose Phot?

  24. Sam says “If so shouldn’t we be fixing the messed-up society we’ve created where normal human behaviour is unaffordable, rather than saying “If some people can’t afford this, others shouldn’t either”?”

    So making those already working, pay even more tax, and have to work even longer hours to get the same income, will fix this?

    Sam says “Yikes! Being around to bring up your kids is now a luxury?”

    You’ve changed what I said, but for most people whose kids have reached primary school – yes – staying at home all day while their kids are at school is a luxury. And has been for years.

  25. @photonz1 5:38 PM

    The WWG has not suggested this generally – only for those who refuse to work.

    At the risk of sounding like a scratched CD (I said it before at 10:31 AM), that is not what they are proposing. Metiria quotes them in her post:

    …in situations of six months on welfare for no apparent reason…

    That essentially means anyone without a job who does not have an impairment or a childcare commitment that makes it harder for them to find suitable work.

    It includes people who haven’t found a job in six months simply because, despite their efforts, there are just not enough jobs to go around.

    Under the WWG proposal, people in that situation would all be candidates for being forced into work for dole schemes.

  26. toad says “You seem to be assuming “the unemployed” always have been and always will be unemployed”

    No – Where did I asume that?

    It is you who are assumming all sorts of things that I haven’t actually written.

    It’s not MY notion that the unemployed have lots of children. It’s a statistacal fact that those in decile 10 have 50% more children than those in deciles 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 and 20-30% more than deciles 8 and 9.

    It’s a fact that the people who can least afford to have children, have the most.

    And if you want to improve child poverty, you don’t have a hope in hell if you don’t acknowledge the basic problem.

  27. If we factor in the mistake by yourself and the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee photonz1, it would appear that decile 10 areas (wealthier) have approximately twice as many children as decile 1 (poorer) areas. Unless you can actually provide some proper evidence, I would conclude that your assumption is incorrect.

  28. The WWG is indeed a report which is hell bent on creating a docile low paid workforce which can be exploited by employers.

    why should parents give up parenting in order to work? parenting is one of the most important jobs we ever do, and it pays nothing. but once your kid is grown up, they are gone. you dont get that back. it is unreasonable to expect people to give it up just to work, and as a society we should support this.

    people should not be forced to move to another area just because there is more work there. Family ties and a connection to your home are important for many people. Work is not everything.

    Just because some people choose to work themselves into the ground all their life, does not give them the right to make other people follow suit.

    The WWG report merely serves to enforce this attitude, and will be socially divisive. Only Neo-Cons could be so focussed on money. I hope they wake up, but i doubt they will.

  29. Janine says “But forcing people to work for the dole is just punitive and for most people in the unfortunate position of being out of work that is so unfair.”

    The WWG has not suggested this generally – only for those who refuse to work.

    I agree that subsidised schemes need careful oversight so they are not abused by employers. The WWG also recommends that there needs to be careful oversight of these schemes.

  30. “Most working parents I know can’t afford to stay at home whne their kids start preschool, or primary school… So if it’s a luxury working parents can’t afford, I don’t think we should extend it to those who don’t work.”

    Yikes! Being around to bring up your kids is now a luxury?

    If so shouldn’t we be fixing the messed-up society we’ve created where normal human behaviour is unaffordable, rather than saying “If some people can’t afford this, others shouldn’t either”?

  31. @bjchip 5:26 PM

    Focus on productivity remains a trap.

    Indeed, it does. The easiest way for an employer to improve productivity is to sack some employees (creating unemployment) and make those who remain do the work of those who were sacked in addition to what they already did.

  32. @photonz1 4:59 PM

    You seem to be assuming “the unemployed” always have been and always will be unemployed.

    Unemployment is not like ethnicity, or gender, or sexual orientation. It is not something you are born into that never changes. People who are unemployed transition into employment and people who are employed are transitioned into unemployment all the time.

    That makes your notion that “the unemployed” have lots of children they cannot afford rather ridiculous. Some unemployed couples may have chosen to have several children when they were earning $150K a year between them. But they both lose their jobs, and, bang, they are unemployed.

    Put the issue of disability into it too, given that anyone can join that group in an instant, and given the WWG wants to treat people who are incapacitated for work through impairment as though they are “unemployed”.

    It is not the black and white world you make it out to be photonz1.

  33. unemployed shouldn’t have to work in the jobs that thousands of other people are already doing

    Perhaps because there are thousands of other people who would then become unemployed? :-)

    Yes, I know that was NOT what you meant. Was just sort of funny to see.

    :-)

    Focus on productivity remains a trap.

    BJ

  34. Photonz1

    You want them to be able to stay at home, and have as many children as they want – both luxuries most working people can’t afford.

    I never said I wanted that. So your answer is to restrict the poor from having children by whatever means, instead of raising wages so that the employed can have children?

    The diagram and yourself seem to be mistaken… a decile 1 School is low socio-economic while a decile 10 is the wealthier. Your reference does not prove that more children are being born into impoverished households. However the answer is to create jobs in those areas so that children are not born into poverty.

    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/SchoolOperations/Resourcing/OperationalFunding/Deciles/HowTheDecileIsCalculated.aspx

    Janine

    Why do you guys always shout at each other from extreme positions?

    I’m not sure that my position is extreme. Although my argument might appear so in disputing Photonz1’s right-wing propaganda. My position is very similar to yours… Blaming the unemployed for the lack of jobs is indeed unfair and pointless.

  35. “Why do you guys always shout at each other from extreme positions”
    OUR MOTHERS TAUGHT US TO

  36. Why do you guys always shout at each other from extreme positions? The topic is about the usefulness or otherwise of work for the dole. If it is work, then the proper award wages and conditions should apply. Simple as that.
    RE subsidised work – this,like most things, is a two-edged sword, depending on the scrupulousness or otherwise of the employer. It means the worker has fair wages and conditions and the employer gets a transition into hiring them. Some employers have abused the system in the past by laying off a worker and replacing them with a subsidised one – doesn’t change the stats, but means the taxpayer is subsidising a private business. I also know of community groups who have successfully used subsidised jobs to get work done, providing skills, experience and cv – depends who takes up the offer and how they use it.
    As someone said, blaming the unemployed for the lack of jobs is unfair and pointless. In fact, blame is pretty pointless.

    If they genuinely want to provide people with work and get them off the benefits, then subsidised schemes, properly monitored, childcare support, public transport, etc are all worth looking at.

    But forcing people to work for the dole is just punitive and for most people in the unfortunate position of being out of work that is so unfair. I’m thinking here of the hundreds of educated former civil servants, many of them in their fifties, who are virtually on the scrapheap – this would be another punishment. What is their crime?

  37. Todd says “You have never provided any evidence that the unemployed have more children despite me asking you for this information on numerous occasions.”

    Actually I have alfready provided proof that those in decile 10 have far more children than anyone else. Like around 50% more than anyone in the top, middle and lower middle deciles i.e. 50% more than deciles 1,2,3,4,5,6,and 7.

    See P 14 at
    http://www.pmmrc.health.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagescm/7743/$File/pmmrc-4th-annual-report2009.pdf

    Todd says “Come on photonz1… since when has a beneficiary been able to afford things that a working person cannot?”

    You want them to be able to stay at home, and have as many children as they want – both luxuries most working people can’t afford.

  38. Photonz1

    You always have a reason why unemployed shouldn’t have to work in the jobs that thousands of other people are already doing.

    The unemployed cannot work in jobs that already have workers. The problem is that there are not enough jobs, not the willingness of the unemployed to work.

    And most people who work can’t afford to stay home with their children, or have lots of children.

    You have never provided any evidence that the unemployed have more children despite me asking you for this information on numerous occasions.

    But you want these people to contribute more working hours per week to tax, so that people who don’t work at all, can have the luxuries that workers can’t afford.

    Come on photonz1… since when has a beneficiary been able to afford things that a working person cannot?

  39. Todd – you always have a reason why unemployed shouldn’t have to work in the jobs that thousands of other people are already doing.

    And most people who work can’t afford to stay home with their children, or have lots of children.

    But you want these people to contribute more working hours per week to tax, so that people who don’t work at all, can have the luxuries that workers can’t afford.

  40. Photonz1

    He had lots of low skilled low paid jobs he could have done, but he refused do them.

    That is the crux of the matter then Photonz1. Many jobs pay no more than what you would receive on the dole. The answer is to pay people what they are worth and create more well paid jobs. You continue to blame the victim, when the situation is not their making. Again you apply one instance to the dynamic… This is not appreciated.

    I don’t think we should extend it to those who don’t work.

    What absolute rubbish! You want people who are not unemployed to have their children removed from them because working parents don’t get to spend time with their children? That makes no sense at all.

  41. Lets get rid of the myth that this is anything about welfare.
    It is another stick in employment policy to obtain a docile, compliant and underpaid workforce to go with the almost total removal of Union power, removal of workers rights to strike and immigration policy designed to keep a lid on wages.

  42. toad says “But it makes no sense – depriving the parent of the ability to care for her own baby while paying someone else (poorly) to do so.”

    Personally I think one parent should stay at home with their kids as long as they can afford to.

    But that’s the point. Most working parents I know can’t afford to stay at home whne their kids start preschool, or primary school.

    So if it’s a luxury working parents can’t afford, I don’t think we should extend it to those who don’t work.

    toad says “But on balance I think Metiria is right – the general thrust of the report is underpinned by right wing ideology. Sure, there are a few sweeteners thrown in to tray to make it look less unpalatable.”

    From what I’ve read, it’s the other way around. It’s largely full of carrots, with a small number os sticks, aimed mainly at difficult minorities like those who refuse to work.

    But I can understand why you’d think that about the report, because Metiria has been stripping out the many positive aspects of the report, and despreately trying to make it sound as extreme as possible, when the truth is that it is far more balanced than that.

  43. The childcare aspects of it mirror welfare reform in the US – even the WWG isn’t loopy enough to suggest that you can force a sole parent with a 14 week old baby into a minimum wage job without providing them with a baby farm childcare facility to look after the baby.

    But it makes no sense – depriving the parent of the ability to care for her own baby while paying someone else (poorly) to do so.

    And there are a few aspects of the report I support – like increased funding for successful wage subsidy schemes, increased funding to support beneficiaries into tertiary education, and addressing the shortage of addiction programmes.

    But on balance I think Metiria is right – the general thrust of the report is underpinned by right wing ideology. Sure, there are a few sweeteners thrown in to try to make it look less unpalatable.

  44. Todd says “Could you please provide proof that there are people who would rather get $159 per week to live on instead of working at a job to get a good wage?”

    I know someone (highly qualified with a double degree) who sat at home for three years spending all his time on playstation and the internet.

    He had lots of low skilled low paid jobs he could have done, but he refused do them.

  45. Toad = Metiria says the WWG reccommendations “driven by far right ideology rather by evidence”, so what do you think about their recommendations to –

    – hand out extra funding for child care for those on benefits who want to work
    – extra funding for schools to provide after school care.
    – extra funding for the successful wage subsidy work schemes
    – urgently address the shortage of addiction programmes available
    – provide funding to beneficiaries who want to shift to regions where there is more work.
    – for funding to regularly be assessed (and shifted from) work and training schemes that are having little effect to those that have the greatest benefits.
    – extra funding for beneficiaries who want to go back into training for tertiary qualification.
    – increase availability to early childhood education for beneficiaries and low income workers.
    – increase free hours of early childhood education to more than 20 hrs per week for low income workers and beneficiaries.
    – change the enphasis of medical certificates from what can’t be done to what can be done.

  46. @photonz1 11:37 AM

    The Greens have always said that people who are on the dole (i.e. the unemployment benefit, not the DPB or the sickness benefit) should be expected to take up offers of suitable employment. I don’t have a problem with financial sanctions being imposed on anyone on unemployment benefit who fails without good reason to attend job interviews they are referred to or take up a suitable job if they are offered one.

    I do have a problem, however, with them being forced to work in return for their benefit – for all the same reasons Metiria states in her post above.

  47. Photonz1

    What is the Green party policy for people who CHOOSE to go on the dole despite work being available to them?

    Could you please provide proof that there are people who would rather get $159 per week to live on instead of working at a job to get a good wage?

  48. Toad – they make it very clear theya re talking about people who do not meet their obligations to try to get work.

    What is the Green party policy for people who CHOOSE to go on the dole despite work being available to them? (i.e. the small group the WWG are talking about).

  49. @photonz1 10:21 AM

    The WWG is talking about people “…in situations of six months on welfare for no apparent reason…” – not just those who repeatedly refuse work when offered it.

    That is pretty much the same group of people that the work for dole schemes in Table 16 of the MSD report targeted. And those schemes caused them to stay on benefit longer than if they had been on no scheme at all.

  50. toad – Metiria has omitted (again) the important prerequisite for what the WWG is talking about.

    The work for the dole scheme is not suggested for general unemployed.

    It is only suggested for the small group of people who repeatedly refuse to accept work when offered it.

    So effectively it gives them the choice to work for a wage or work for the dole.

  51. @photonz1 9:35 AM

    It is you who are misleading (or misunderstand) photonz1. The Welfare Working Group isn’t recommending the wage subsidy schemes of the type that are in Table 17 of the MSD report (which do help to get people off benefit). They are recommending work for dole schemes of the type that are in Table 16 (which actually cause people to stay on benefit longer).

  52. rimu The sentences you missed from your quotation are
    “The international evidence for the effectiveness of wage subsidies is mixed. They appear to help women and the long-term unemployed enter the labour market (Martin and Grubb 2001, Dar and Tzannatos 1999) and in Australia, they led to ongoing employment for Indigenous job seekers (DEWR 2003). Evaluations in several OECD countries have shown that wage subsidy programmes have a greater impact than training programmes or direct job creation measures (Martin and Grubb 2001). ”

    My point is there are schemes that work, and schemes that don’t work.

    To rule out ones that work really well, because of left wing ideology, is just as bad as enforcing those that don’t work, because of right wing ideology.

    The intelligent thing to do, is to pick and choose what works and what doesn’t – not rule everything in, or everything out.

  53. work for dole does not work. it encourages unscrupulous employment practices. it reduces the amount of work available to get people off the dole. and it really only serves to make right wing people who have a job feel even more morally superior. It does not help the people who are looking for work.

  54. Ah, found it in section 4.2.6.1

    “Wage subsidies are job matching programmes that help place job seekers into employment. Wage subsidies are expected to compensate the employer for the perceived or actual risk of hiring the participant, thereby providing an incentive for firms to take on those disadvantaged in the labour market (de Boer 2002).”

    “While there appear to be many benefits of wage subsidies, there are a number of drawbacks that need to be considered. Wage subsidy programmes may be vulnerable to abuse by employers and so it is necessary to monitor employer practice closely. Close monitoring of firms, however, may lead to less participation in the scheme. The close targeting of wage subsidy programmes to disadvantaged groups may cause a stigmatisation effect (Higgins 2003). This is believed to be partly the reason that wage subsidies have a low take-up rate and have not proven successful in the United States (Van Reenen 2003). On the other hand, if the programme is successful, non-participants may benefit from wage subsidy schemes by altering employer recruitment practice (Higgins 2003). Wage subsidies carry significant risks of substituting similarly disadvantaged job seekers as well as high deadweight loss (Dar and Tzannatos 1999; Martin and Grubb 2001).”

    So basically they give advantages to those in the scheme mostly at the expense of those who are not

  55. As I understand it, schemes with a wage subsidy actually take people off the dole and employ them – the wage subsidy means the Govt helped meet the cost of wages for the duration of the scheme. The idea is they carry on after the subsidy ends, or that people gain skills and move into other jobs. Without a wage subsidy people stay on the dole but are required to show up to the scheme in order to get it.

    Big difference! Wage subsidy schemes are not work-for-the-dole.

  56. Table 17 is for “Community Work Experience programme[s] with a wage subsidy” while table 16 is for those without a wage subsidy.

    What is a wage subsidy?

  57. Metiria – Table 17 shows that there are work programmes (i.e. Job Connection) where after six months participants were up to 98% more likely to get off a benefit than those not participating.

    By showing us Table 16 of work shemes that have made little difference, and ommitting table 17 of work shemes that have worked well, you are misleading everyone – is this deliberate?

    Your own link makes nonsense of your statement that the evidence shows work schemes simply don’t work.

    It is obvious what the evidence shows – that some schemes don’t work, and some do.

  58. Didn’t they even bother to look at that MSD report before making that recommendation? It failed in the 1990s, so let’s repeat it. Duh!

    This is the same sort of extremist far right rubbish we got from Don Brash’s 2025 Taskforce. But at least Key binned its report shortly after was delivered.

    The scary thing is that Bennett appears to be seriously considering this nonsense.

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