Thursday, March 01, 2007

NZ Govt to pay beneficiaries to get a job.

According to the NZ Herald, beneficiaries in New Zealand will be paid a bonus subsidy of up to $1500 for getting a job under a Government scheme starting next month.

The new "transition to work" subsidy will be available to all beneficiaries, as well as low-income earners facing short gaps in employment and students once they have a job. Question is how long do they have to keep the job to get the subsidy and can they apply for it more than once if the first job doesn't work out? This could open the door for shafters who take advantage of the system?

It will cover costs such as transport, clothing and bridging finance until their first pay, says information from the Ministry of Social Development.

To receive the payment, beneficiaries would need to provide proof they had a job, show a record of the costs incurred in getting the job, as well as passing a cash, asset and income test.

The payment is one of several moves being introduced over the next few months to help long-term beneficiaries and a record number of sickness beneficiaries. Other schemes beginning from next month include new subsidies of up to $380 a week for employers who give beneficiaries work and grants to cover costs incurred for training and work experience.

The initiatives are the first time those on the domestic purpose benefit (DPB), sickness and invalid benefits have been offered assistance to get into the workforce.

The beneficiaries should be informed that once they are off the benefit they are expected to keep their job for at least a year and no more benefits will be available to them during that time.

Legislation is also being developed that will put obligations on these beneficiaries by making them provide plans to Work and Income on how they will get a job. The benefit should only be available for terms not exceeding 6 months, that will get people thinking about how to make a living.

Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope said feedback from beneficiaries showed one in five wanted to work and would appreciate help. One in five.... That means 4 out of 5 of these beneficiaries (provided they are not ill) who provided feedback are lazy. That also tells me that they are getting paid too much to want to work... Time for change.

The idea is interesting to motivate people off their arse, but I am still weary of it. What are your thoughts?

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