NZ Herald August 12, 2008
Conservative groups are warning the National Party to be “flexible” about making sole parents go back to work, allowing for sick children and school holidays. Family First director Bob McCoskrie, an invited guest at the policy launch, said making parents work part-time made sense, but only if implemented with discretion. “We’d want to make sure that the work requirements are within school hours and not within the school holidays. Otherwise we are going to have a lot of unsupervised kids.”
Another guest, Mercy Mission founder Barbara Stone, said she agreed with the work requirement “as long as it’s in school time and there is someone at home for the children for the rest of the time”. She said it was hard to get jobs for sole parents, who often had low self-esteem.
Family First Comment : That was a short comment considering the reporter spoke to us for almost 10 minutes!!! We also said…
* welfare is an important safety net
* welfare should not reward dysfunction or be a motivation for dysfunctional behaviour
* long-term welfare dependency can be demoralising and is linked with poverty. Work can bring dignity and a level of independence
* the expectation to work should not be at the expense of the important role of parents (especially sole parents) to meet the needs of their children. Part time work (with flexibility) may be a win-win situation
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN THIS POLICY, WE SHOULD ALSO BE ASKING:
* why are so many women having children outside of marriage?
* why do we have the 2nd highest rate of solo parent homes in the OECD?
* why is our teenage pregnancy rate so high (up to half of current DPB recipients started on welfare as teenagers)