Kiwi Polemicist

July 19, 2009

• Govt makes it harder for beneficiaries to get off the benefit

Filed under: Welfare state — Tags: , , , , , — Kiwi Polemicist @ 4:36 pm

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

I believe that the state should not be involved in welfare in any way whatsoever. However, if a state is daft enough and immoral enough to get involved in welfare then it makes sense for it to provide assistance to those beneficiaries who wish to earn a wage and get off the benefit. Quite apart from the intangible gains for the beneficiary (e.g. independence), assisting beneficiaries who wish to get off welfare is usually cheaper than continuing to pay that welfare.


Caution: the person who dreamed up this policy is hard at work on his next Bright Idea

Until now WINZ (Work and Income New Zealand, the state welfare agency) has provided the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA), which paid for course fees and related costs when a course would supposedly lead to employment. However, the NZ Herald is reporting that the TIA will now only be paid for courses that are NZQA level 3 or less. I’m not 100% certain, but as far I can tell that’s equivalent to 7th form/year 13 (the highest high school level. Finding out what these levels mean in reality is difficult). There are ten levels and level 7 is a Bachelor’s degree – remember that you need a degree to be a nurse these days. From my own experience I can tell you that Level 3 qualifications are only good for the most basic unskilled manual jobs.

According to WINZ people who have already started a course that’s level 4 or higher will still get the TIA:

Before 28 May 2009, approved courses did not have to be below level four of the National Qualifications Framework. Training Incentive Allowance can continue to be paid to clients who were undertaking a level four course and receiving Training Incentive Allowance for that course on 28 May 2009 and the course of study is continuing after 28 May 2009:

* until they complete study for their current qualification or

* until 31 December 2011

whichever is the earlier.

That’s good for those people who have already started courses, but this change was announced in the May budget so people planning to do a course have only had three months warning that their plans are scuttled. It appears that many haven’t even been given that.

Welfarism is a disease that has wrecked our country (click here for more on that) and the TIA was one way of reducing welfarism. Does the government actually want to keep people on the benefit or in low-paid work?

This new policy is penny wise and pound foolish.

What do you think about this new policy of stopping assistance for qualifications of Level 4 or higher?

Click here for an update to this post.




  1. Hear Hear! I recently spoke to a local Invercargill Rotary club and suggested, not entirely tongue in cheek, that a network like theirs might be well placed to manage welfare on a local level: connected with employers, frugal, well meaning… And less to do with the Government.

    There were some raised eyebrows.

    Comment by PeterPumpkinhead — July 20, 2009 @ 6:58 am

    • Peter: thanks. Your idea isn’t a daft one – I believe that all welfare should be done privately and that the government should not be involved in welfare.

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — July 20, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  2. […] • This is an update to my earlier post Govt makes it harder for beneficiaries to get off the benefit. […]

    Pingback by Update: Govt makes it harder for beneficiaries to get off the benefit (Bennett releases income info) « Kiwi Polemicist — July 31, 2009 @ 2:13 am

  3. Funny… that looks JUST like my truck and stunt dummy….

    Comment by Nick Plantico — September 20, 2009 @ 9:57 am

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