Helping NZ's 'unemployables'

Last updated 12:00 28/01/2013
Work and income
Fairfax NZ

JOB SEEKERS: Does New Zealand give people enough incentive to get a job?


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Does New Zealand encourage, develop and reward productivity? Many readers will think we do. If you are one of those readers, chances are you are older, with more responsibilities such as a house, mortgage, family etc. How do you think the young, free, youth embarking on the start of their adult lives would answer?

Many of our youth just go to university from high school with no purpose other than the social status that comes with thousands of dollars in debt for an often worthless degree.

You get on the dole or DPB or any of the other aspects of our welfare system, money for nothing. If you want to get a job and start being productive there are hurdles, unless you get 20 hours you take home less money. You quickly lose the perks of being unproductive such as community service cards.

If you stray on to the wrong side of the law the incentives against productive behaviour become even stronger. Free housing and feeding. You can rack up all the fines you want and the judge will convert it to community service at a rate of $100 per hour. You'd be a mug to get a job and pay the fines.

Try and make a go of it by starting a small business and what's the result? Overwhelming bureaucratic hoops to jump through, limitless rules, regulations and paperwork that take over the time you need to build a productive business.

The only way to turn our economy around is to increase people's incentive to become productive members of society and decrease the hurdles to being productive. We need to systematically deconstruct the rules and regulations put in place by generations of politicians. The hoops small business owners have to jump through are horrendous. We could create a new "unlimited liability" company classification to allow individuals to create and build businesses without the need to adhere to normal regulations, by allowing them to take complete responsibility for the actions of their business. People could apply and in one step demonstrate they are genuine, capable and then let them have a go, rather than needing to constantly prove you're up to minimum standards If it goes pear shaped it's on their head. 

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A huge portion of our population is not suited to working as employees so providing an alternate path to becoming a productive member of society is key. Particularly for those trapped in our welfare system, many of whom are already operating profitable businesses in both legal and illegal trades to supplement their welfare income. Why not send the message we value any productive input our residents can offer and applauded them for taking responsibility for their actions?

Just think how our economy could look in another generation with these business owners as parents and examples compared to how it's going to look if they just become the next generation of unemployables.

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