A Critical Consideration of Current Social Insurance Policy Developments in New Zealand
Keywords:individual market income replacement, social insurance, family poverty alleviation, middle-class welfare
Recent surprising announcements about the development of a social unemployment insurance (SUI) system by the Labour government are critically considered. Introducing SUI represents a major philosophical lurch from a welfare system mainly about family poverty alleviation towards one which has a stronger focus on market income replacement for individual low- and middle-income earners. We critically consider the policy process, the reasons why an SUI system might be desirable, and several alternative solutions to the likely proposal. We express scepticism about the democratic credentials of the process thus far and conclude that a persuasive case for such major reform has not yet been made.
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