Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Bradford: Bash the system not the beneficiaries

Bradford says: Bash the system, not the beneficiaries

The Green Party says beneficiaries are being unfairly victimized by politicians, when inadequacies in the health and welfare systems are really to blame for the rise in people claiming sickness and invalid’s benefits.

“Recent Labour and National governments are responsible for tightening ACC health and work testing requirements to the extent that many people with major mental and/or physical disabilities have been forced into the benefit system,” said Sue Bradford, the Green Social Welfare spokesperson.

“Meanwhile, never-ending waiting lists and huge gaps in the health system, both for physical operations and for psychological services, also mean it is taking longer for some people to access the services they need to render them fit for work.

“For example, extremely long waiting lists for addiction services mean that people who might otherwise be assisted are left on the scrap-heap and are stuck with an invalids or sickness benefit.”

Ms Bradford also pointed out that the longer people stay on any benefit, including the unemployment benefit, the more likely they are to be in poor mental and physical health, and therefore more likely to move to a sickness or invalid’s benefit.

“We've had structural unemployment for two decades now,” said Ms Bradford. “The rising numbers of mentally and physically sick people is a direct result of entrenched poverty and unemployment.

“It is rich for National to be crying foul over the numbers of people on these benefits, when it was National which cut benefits in 1991, and which continues to encourage patronising and hostile attitudes towards beneficiaries who are sick or out of work through no fault of their own.”

Sue Bradford said the real answer to helping people off invalids and sickness benefits lay in:

• Changing the way in which ACC works with long term and seriously injured claimants so that people are genuinely rehabilitated before being pushed off income-related compensation;

• Improving funding and access to physical and mental health services in all parts of New Zealand, including speedy access to addiction treatment;

• Changing attitudes and services so that beneficiaries are genuinely assisted into work, and that sick and injured people are not be blamed or penalised for their situation.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election