Welfare reform, WEAG and the Labour-led Government: Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today

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The Government’s track record on welfare reform is looking increasingly Carrollian. InThrough the Looking Glass, the White Queen tells Alice, ‘The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.’ We had the Families Package yesterday, arising out of 2017 election commitments, and there are strong signals that more will come ‘tomorrow’ in the 2020 Budget and in Labour’s 2020 election promises. But there has been no increase in basic benefit rates as recommended by the Government’s own Welfare Expert Advisory Group, precious little response to any of its other recommendations, and the Government has announced that welfare reform is on a ‘three to five year’ timetable. In this talk Michael Fletcher reviews the current situation and WEAG’s recommendations and suggests some changes which could be implemented quickly to relieve hardship without restricting the options for the promised ‘overhaul’ of New Zealand’s welfare system.

Dr Michael Fletcher is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. He has worked as an academic and government researcher and policy advisor on welfare related issues for more than 20 years. Michael was appointed to role of independent specialist advisor to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group in 2018. He is the New Zealand Correspondent to the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich.

When
February 28th, 2020 5:30 PM   through   7:30 PM
Location
Connolly Hall
Guildford Terrace
Wellington,
New Zealand

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