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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 10. July 19, 1957

Welfare and Slavery

Welfare and Slavery

At St. Patrick's College, on Sunday. 9th June, a panel comprising. Bernie Galvin. M A.. Pat Burns. M.A. Maurice O'Brien. L.L.B. and Dr. Des. Hurley. Ph.D., discussed the topic. "The Welfare Slate is it morally good or bad.'"

The speakers emphasised that the concept of the welfare state was a modern one. Mr O'Brien said that the modern British and New Zealand state was assuming the role of a social relief worker The majority of the citizens had a number of social needs, and since the stale had the power to satisfy these needs, the Englishman and the New Zealander considered that it also had a duty to do so. The panel said that there were two points to be considered, a reallocation of wealth by a proportional tax, and state regulation and control.

A number of speakers from the floor contended that the Social Security Tax could hardly be called a proportional tax but Mr. Galvin pointed out that the total amount of the Social Security Fund was nowhere near the bill for the services which were provided. The deficit was made up by drawing on the Consolidated Fund, which was built up by proportional taxes.

The panel claimed that the welfare state removed a feeling of economic insecurity which had previously existed in the community. Dr. Hurley made some comparisons with the American social system, and claimed along with other speakers, that the dangers of the welfare state lay in its administration, not its theory. After the panel had spoken the discussion was thrown open, and a spirited debate ensued.

The general conclusion arrived at was that the welfare stale was morally good, provided it did not assume control of citi/cns and interfere with their freedom "Better a sick freeman than a healthy slave."—P.O'B.