Thursday, June 25, 2009

Not exactly a luxurious life

I wouldn’t get too concerned that the government is planning to stick 7000 unemployed people into McDonalds. The scheme is over a five years period, equating to 26 per week on average. That is if the 7000 figure is reached. What if they only get 4000 into McDonalds – that’s about 15 per week.

And that is about how many people are being employed at McDonalds every week anyway, due to the high staff turnover. But this deal is not driven by a desire to get people work. It is driven by a desire not to pay so much money on benefits, as John Key explains:
When we spend a lot on benefits it means there are a lot of New Zealanders not really earning a lot. Life on a benefit is not exactly a luxurious life.
When lots of people work at McDonalds, it means there are a lot of New Zealanders not really earning a lot. Working at McDonalds is not exactly a luxurious life.

What if they were to offer a McDonalds fulltime position - 30 hours a week in WINZ language - to a main unemployed breadwinner with children? If they were to get $15.00 an hour, they`d get $450 a week ($23,400 a year), compared with a benefit payment of $18,850 a year before tax. That's an extra $87.50 a week.

Beneficiaries can earn $80.00 each week and retain the benefit. Effectively squared up. But the person in this example will be spending money on transport to get to work so he is worse off by working at McDonalds.

Would you do it?

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