Friday, February 16, 2007

New Zealand's welfare state not the cause of NZ's social decline!

New Zealand's welfare state is not the cause at all of our social decline and the creation of an underclass, as claimed by Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten which published a full page report headlined The Kiwi miracle that faded, this is the liberal conservative newspaper attacked for publishing those controversial Islamic cartoons that insulted and infuriated Islam last year.

The above newspaper regularly attacks the Danish Government's welfare policies that are based on New Zealand's. A welfare crisis; an underclass heralding social disaster in New Zealand? I don't think so. New Zealand has problems and has had these social problems that were caused by the economic reforms of the late 1980's and the excesses that followed with the policies of the Bolger/ Shipley National Government, 1990-1999.

The Employment Contracts Act, the most fascist piece of legislation since Sid Holland's emergency regulations created during the infamous Watersiders lockout in the early 1950's, was designed to emasculate the NZ trade union movement, and it did; to reduce real wages, and it did; and to create flexiibility for NZ employers on a scale not seen since the great depression, and it did. There were a variety of insidious changes created to our society because of that legislation alone. Some of the biggest victims of that legislation were mature workers, many of whom have never had long term employment since that time. Awards were scrapped and employers soon did away with overtime and holiday double time rates. The side effects to these employment changes caused corresponding social changes which have deterioated to such a degree that there is a real and existing underclass of New Zealanders, a severe and worsening drug problem and violence on such a scale in parts of our country never seen before, not even during the great depression era. That is where John Key's underclass originated!

We all know what the problems are, where they originated and what should be done. The problem is they are now so deep-seated and difficult it will take time to eradicate. The Labour Government and its allies have started well by reducing unemployment rates to the lowest in 20 years. Its Working for Families policy will have a positive effect on poverty, but wage rates have to be increased dramatically as will welfare benefits in the short term!

John Key and his National Party are irrelevant and do not have positive policies to improve the lot of the lower socio-economic sector of this country, or even the middle and lower middle classes of New Zealand!

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