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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news