Friday, 23 September 2011

Benefiting from Benefits?

I often read Stuff blogs, and whenever beneficiaries are mentioned, a common theme comes up in the comments - that those on benefits are completely dependent and that strong rules and incentives must be used to get people off the benefit (not to mention they are lazy, good for nothing bludgers.)

However, contrary to popular opinion, only a very small number of those on a benefit are on it for a long period of time, and most who are on a benefit want to come off it, and see being on a benefit as a finite thing. If a person is on a benefit for a long time it is often because of a loss of opportunities to access employment at an adequate wage, and lack of support services such as child care.

Also it has been found that beneficiaries have stronger attachments to their work and better work values than non-beneficiaries.

It would be nice if people didn't judge so easily (as its so easy to do in the anonymity of the internet, or inside ones head), but actually looked at the reality of life for most beneficiaries and what their real motivations and feelings about work and the benefit are.

Info from Cheyne, C., O'Brien, M & Belgrave, M. (2005) Social Policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. 3rd edition. Auckland  Oxford Extract - Chapter 8: From Social Assistance to Social Development, pp 162-190

P.S what is the right preposition for this sentence? 'as its so easy to do in/on the anonymity of the internet'

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