Truth be told
It is thanks to the Dominion Post article August 22 that we in Porirua at last have learnt some of the truth about our ‘‘investment’’ in Smartlinx3.
The new chief executive informed the Dom Post that the company, which has taken over $3 million of public money, had ‘‘a couple of hundred’’ customers (that’s a $15,000 subsidy to each customer), that there wasn’t a sale on the network in the past 12 months; that there was no business plan for the board to check up on and that ‘‘they had public funds so no real pressure to generate money’’.
Clearly neither our salaried nor elected representatives deserve to spend our money on such enterprises. However, it is not surprising that our council has continued to put our money in this venture, or that our CEO lauds Smartlinx’s performance (January press release).
After all, it is ‘‘public money’’ so its loss doesn’t really affect our salaried and elected representatives personal income streams. What seems important to these people is that no one rock the boat or be performance managed. Why else would a decision have been taken to invite a new shareholder into the company but there be no committee record on the council website to record that the Smartlinx committee has even met since April 29, 2010 (with that meeting lasting just three minutes and being totally secret)?
When will our mayor (who was, said his supporters last election, able to hit the ground running) demand from the chief executive and himself the level of performance that people in the private sector on similar salaries must deliver?
BRIAN COLLINS, Papakowhai. developing long-term welfare dependency as these are the years they should be actively gaining skills and building a portfolio of work experience.
If those years are spent on a benefit instead of working or in training, then they are likely to find it even more difficult to find employment as they get older. So these age groups are being targeted before a long-term problem is developed, which will have a positive effect on beneficiary numbers from all age brackets in the future.
While I do agree with his arguments that the best way of getting people off welfare is in a way that encourages job creation, he does seem to lack insight into the ways in which government schemes are already doing so.
Work and Income have work brokers who build relationships with employers in their community, and those employers do receive wage and training subsidies provided they employ the referred former beneficiaries for at least 30 hours per week for a minimum six-month period.
These subsidies are primarily provided for those that hire former beneficiaries that are in the 16-18 age bracket or are classified as low skilled. It is also being proposed that any cuts from the proposed welfare changes will be reallocated to wage and training subsidy budgets.
If this isn’t fostering policies of full employment then what is?
E WATERS, Porirua. Porirua to deliver the course. The advantages for both the students and the institutions are obvious.