I have to thank Brian Fallow for his article in the NZ Herald of 28 November to have alerted me to the “Productivity Commission’s” inquiry into how to improve the market for social services. My old nightmare predictions were confirmed.
Our neo-liberal right wing governments – lets cut out the centre right euphemism – has sold off most of the valuable state assets to mostly overseas corporate buyers. Some bits and pieces left like state houses are now on the block. However the cupboard is almost empty. So what is the next thing to feather the nests of your corporate mates with, when brick and mortar are gone ? You sell what is left, which is government services.
Brian Fallow points to the consequences especially for the social services.
The charities register showed around $3.3 billion of government funding for charitable providers of social services last year. The charities benefit from around 800,000 hours of volunteer labour a week. And as a general rule, people employed by NGOs don’t do it because the money is good. So a concern, if the agenda here is increased reliance on that sector, is that it is about saving money by reducing the pay and working conditions of the people actually providing the services.
The consequence of poorly paid providers is that the services don’t get better but poorer as well. The article is titled “State’s social role under scrutiny”. The “social” role of the state seems to change from providing for the poorest and most vulnerable to making the rich even richer.
Even right wing commentator and blogger Matthew Hooton on National Radio this week called senior cabinet minister Steven Joyce the minister for “corporate welfare”.
The social role of the state has changed to welfare for the rich. As simple as that.Tweet ##NZPOL