The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Secret to Job-hunting

Over at Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty, Maia is chronicling her battle with Work and Income to get the unemployment benefit.

It's the kind of real-life writing that deserves regular publication in all our major daily newspapers - if it's this tough for someone like Maia I can only shudder when I think of how others might fare, those with children, or no transport, or cruddy health, or a foreign accent, or no union experience, or brown skin, or visible tattoos, or a nasty former boss, or poor English, or overseas qualifications and/or work history etc etc ad nauseum. I've fitted in to a few of those categories in my time, and any of us could find ourselves trying to row that boat, sans paddle, in the future.
Anyway, go read it, and keep reading it as the episodes of Maia vs WINZ unfold:

Part 1 - WRK4U
Part 2 - The Forms
Part 3 - The Reality
Part 4 - The Call Centre (added 4th Jan)

I'm just waiting for the case manager to mention the importance of smiling.


Apathy Jack said...

Ah yes, my old friends WINZ. Remind me of something Hewligan wrote about his - and my - dealings with them in the dim and distant. Here it is:

stef said...

I recently applied for a job back in NZ. I had a rather bizzare conversation wtih the HR person who when finding out that I was applying from Korea, told me my accent was 'weird' and reminded me that I needed a relevant work permit for the job and this was for a state sector job!!

That conversation really does make me think how provincal NZ is at times.

Rich said...

We should have a Universal Basic Income system. With this, everyone gets a weekly payment whether they need it or not. People who earn get the money progressively clawed back in tax.

That way there's no WINZ and no disincentives to work or education.

Span said...

I'm definitely in favour of the concept of a UBI. My key reservation is that it will not be generous enough though - if our current benefit levels are anything to go by.

Gerrit said...

Always have been a proponent of the UBI as a replacement for all wellfare (including superanuation).

Interesting will be the structure and implementation.

Would you increase payout of the UBI as different age groups mature? (ie a start up payment at birth followed by yearly increases as cost for children's growth, development and schooling increases).

Reaching a summit at age 21 when the UBI would be steady till one passes away.

Upside will be the huge reduction of state sector adminastration workers. They will instead enter the productive sector to produce the goods and services that lead to growth.

Cant honestly see a downside to the proposal of a UBI.

Except perhaps that the UBI must not be set at a level where one comfortably (repeat comfortably)has a choice to either work or not. If the gap between the UBI and a working income is to small (and too many people take living of the UBI as a lifestyle option) your tax take will not be high enough to afford the UBI.

Be an interesting economic thesis.