Reforming welfare: a look backwards
Keywords:Welfare Working Group terms of reference, welfare dependence, ‘active citizenship’, purposes of income support
In its final report the Welfare Working Group (WWG) asserts that ‘Our welfare system has major deficiencies that need to be corrected if we are to achieve the outcomes New Zealanders expect from the welfare system. Addressing these issues requires innovation and fundamental change to the welfare system, rather than further piecemeal change’ (WWG, 2011, p.i). The report fails to meet all these aims because of: (1) its imprecision and lack of clarity about key terminology; (2) the agenda which it set, including the terms of reference under which it worked; and (3) the assumptions it made about the purpose and role of income support systems and the values on which those systems should be based.
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