Auckland Action Against Poverty alleges many beneficiaries are being denied additional assistance such as food grants.
The ultimate stress test
Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Tama economist Matthew Roskruge says crises like Covid can help identify weaknesses in government welfare, such as weaknesses that would not exist if the welfare system was robust enough to start with.
“Ideally, a strong welfare system would already be in place.”
Roskruge says the government has done a good job at creating a safety net but, as time goes on, the net is thinning.
He wonders if subsidising businesses and giving displaced workers souped-up benefits is delaying the inevitable. He questions whether the government needed to prop up businesses or not.
“There is certainly a strong argument for allowing businesses to ‘die’ so that new businesses can be ‘born’,” Roskruge says.