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

 


Reforms long on stick, short on detail

Jacinda Ardern
Social Development Spokesperson

13 March 2013

Reforms long on stick, short on detail

The second round of Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms - based in part on flawed UK laws - raise more questions than they answer, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“These reforms, reported back to Parliament today, still leave huge question marks around the new work capability assessment requirements, modelled on a much-criticised UK regime.

“Not only does it look like New Zealand is about to repeat the mistakes of another country, the select committee considering the bill has been left in the dark over how the new rules for those currently on a sickness or invalids benefit will work.

“Do we, as a country, want to see cases like the one of the blind former health worker who was reduced to begging after being ‘harassed and bullied’ by work assessors?

“It’s totally understandable that the disability sector in particular have raised concerns over the new regime. Ms Bennett has admitted it was being modelled on the UK but has provided very little detail ever since.

“One thing we do know, however, is that it will do very little to remove barriers to work. As one submitter pointed out: ‘it [the bill] will not add one single more job for a disabled people…it does nothing about attitudes of employers and workers. It does nothing about the ability to make adjustments in the workplace. [There is] nothing about access to education or work experience. If the bill wishes to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to move into the workforce, it doesn’t contribute.’

“With this second tranche also merging the existing seven main benefit categories into three - one of which is ‘jobseeker support’, covering the unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, widow’s benefit, DPB sole parent and DPB women alone – we also run the risk of treating people like a benefit category, instead of addressing their individual barriers to decent sustainable employment.

“Rather than starting from the assumption that people seeking support when they hit hard times actually want to work, Ms Bennett has, from the outset, assumed the exact opposite.

More than 200 people turned out for just seven jobs at Carter Holt in Mangere yesterday. Once application forms ran out many had no way of proving they were actively seeking work. Under Ms Bennett’s reforms that could mean being sanctioned.

“These latest changes do nothing to create jobs for the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who are out of work. Until Ms Bennett addresses the genuine barriers to work, reforms like these will continue to do more harm than good.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Issue 49: Werewolf Weekender

Philip Matthews: From The Lost Continent
It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, had a couple of North Island screenings last year during the International Film Festival’s “Autumn Events” season, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

The Complicatist: Blue Eyed & Soulful
For a while in June, the top two singles on the US Billboard charts featured Iggy Azalea, an Australian model turned hip hop performer. To some, this may seem like just the latest chapter in a long saga of whites ripping off black culture, while enriching themselves in the process. Obviously, there’s some truth in the stereotype. Yet it can also obscure the positive collaborations – in jazz, soul music and hip hop – between musicians who treated each other as creative equals, race regardless. More>>

Satire: Carry On Captaining
Oh hello. Scanner Technician Davis. To what do I owe the pleasure?
You think we’re what?
Oh, pish. This vessel has been travelling along smoothly for generations – particularly smoothly in the last few years though I say so myself – and I happen to know we have never once been hit by an asteroid... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Detention, Community Work

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news