Mike Yardley: Electronic Income Management, I like it

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Wed, 21 Jul 2021, 10:03AM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Mike Yardley: Electronic Income Management, I like it

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Wed, 21 Jul 2021, 10:03AM

So Act wants restrictions on what gang members with kids can spend their benefit on.

Electronic Income Management, I like it.

If any parent on welfare is repeatedly failing to feed their kids, while frittering their benefit on vices, they should face the same restrictions.

No longer a cash payment in the bank, but a strictly controlled payment card, where buying booze, tobacco and gambling is blocked.

But this could go much further. This measure could actually make a huge difference to tackle the travesty of able-bodied, working age people becoming long-term beneficiaries on Jobseeker Support.

Curb their freedom to spend their benefit as they see fit, if they fail to honour their work test obligations, fail to attend job interviews or refuse to take up a suitable job offer.

Because the overall, trend lines are bleak, with dependence on the state continuing to bulge.

You will recall late last week, Carmel Sepuloni was celebrating the drop in beneficiary numbers.

Ten thousand fewer people are on Jobseeker Support, compared to three months ago. But as much as Carmel is crowing about that drop, which was welcome, it’s actually small beer in the bigger picture.

I’ve been crunching the numbers from the MSD data sets and here’s the full story.

Currently, one hundred and ninety thousand people are on Jobseeker Support and most are classified Work Ready. That’s six point one per cent of the working age population.

Four years ago, that figure was one hundred and twenty thousand people. Four point one per cent of the working age population.

So, the number of people parked up on the dole, under Labour, has mushroomed by over fifty per cent. They have supersized the state of dependence.

But this is where it gets worse.

They have nearly doubled the number of Jobseeker Support recipients, who’ve been idling on the dole for twelve months or longer. One hundred and eighteen thousand of them, despite the record job ads and monstrous labour shortages.

Electronic Income Management might be just the prod, just the wakeup call, the welfare state needs.