Home > The Body Politic > Letter to the Editor: $3000 offer to the Unemployed is a joke – and not a very funny one!

Letter to the Editor: $3000 offer to the Unemployed is a joke – and not a very funny one!

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Paula Bennett

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6 May, 2014

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Budget 2014: ‘$3k to Christchurch’ to help job seekers

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The Government is providing further support for the Canterbury rebuild with $3.5 million of new operating funding for 2014/15 in Budget 2014 to assist beneficiaries to take up work in Christchurch.

“We’re offering up to 1,000 beneficiaries a one-off payment of $3,000 each if they have a full-time job offer in Canterbury and are ready and willing to move there,” Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says.

“The rebuild is creating thousands of jobs in Christchurch, and there are people around New Zealand ready to take them up, but who don’t currently have the means to get there.

“With an unemployment rate in Canterbury of 3.4 per cent – lower than the 6 per cent rate nationally – there are plenty of opportunities. There is demand not only in construction, but in hospitality, retail and many other industries too.

“Work and Income will be working closely with employers to connect them with beneficiaries who’d be suited to work for them, and I’m confident this incentive will provide a boost for the rebuild, and for the employment prospects of beneficiaries,” Mrs Bennett says.

The $3,000 payment will help beneficiaries with the move to Canterbury, sorting accommodation, clothing, tools and any other purchases they might need to make when getting settled.

This offer will be open to beneficiaries of all ages, but a particular focus will be placed on young people aged 18-24 years, as the rebuild provides the opportunity for them to gain employment skills that will set them up for life.

To qualify, the job offered must be for over 30 hours a week, and for longer than 91 days. The payment will be non-taxable, and exempt from an income and asset test.

If the recipient goes back on benefit within three months of the payment without a sufficient reason, then the payment must be repaid.

This initiative will cover jobs within the geographical areas of Ashburton, Hurunui, Selwyn, and Waimakariri District Councils, and the Christchurch City Council.

 

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An interesting idea… until one read the second-to-last line. Which prompted this response from me;

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FROM:   "f.macskasy"  
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Wed, 07 May 2014 00:52:23 +1200
TO:     "The Press" <letters@press.co.nz>

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The Editor
THE PRESS

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When I first heard that National's Paula Bennett was
offering $3000 for unemployed to relocate to Christchurch to
find work, I thought it was an interesting idea with merit.
Though one wonders why it took three years for National to
come up with it. An election year bribe?.

Upon closer inspection there are two fish-hooks in this
plan.

A job has to be over 30 hours a week, and  longer than
ninetyone days, or else the $3000  must be re-paid.

Should an employer reduce those thirty hours, or use the
government's own Ninety Day Trial Period to sack the worker
-  that $3000 must be repaid.

The unemployed person takes the risk in taking up the $3000
grant, but their fate is in the hands of the employer, whose
decisions can result in the worker having to repay the
money.

The plan's sheer inherent contradictions undermines any
potential effectiveness.

In fact, it seems designed to fail.


-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

 

 

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References

Beehive.govt.nz: Budget 2014: ‘$3k to Christchurch’ to help job seekers


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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= fs =

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  1. Mick
    7 May 2014 at 6:28 am

    Isn’t there already a housing issue in Christchurch as well ?
    Will they offer a re-relocation payment to return to your starting point if the Christchurch moves fails ?

    • 7 May 2014 at 8:38 am

      It appears, Mick, that Bennett hasn’t thought through the issue that far ahead…

      When my father worked on the Deep Cove/Manapouri power project in the 1960s, the government of the day laid on free accomodation for workers, using the Wanganella (a former passenger liner, moored at Doubtful Sound).

      It seems that politicians and government departments were more adept at planning ahead half a century ago, than today, with all our incredible technology at our finger-tips.

    • Deb Kean
      7 May 2014 at 6:35 pm

      There is already a housing issue, I have heard, and Lianne Dalziel for one, has said this is a particularly stupid idea.
      Deb

      • 7 May 2014 at 8:51 pm

        Actually, that’s something else that hadn’t occurred to me, Deb – how a mayor would react to such a plan, without supporting infra-structure being set up to cater for an influx of 1,000 workers (plus their partners/families?).

        With Christchurch already facing a critical housing shortage, this is the last thing she’d want dumped on her doorstep!

  1. 23 May 2014 at 8:01 am

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