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Social Welfare Reforms Impose Unrealistic Obligations

Asenati Lole-Taylor MP
Spokesperson for Social Policy

10 April 2013

Social Welfare Reforms Impose Unrealistic Obligations

New Zealand First says new laws imposed by the National-led Government through its flawed social welfare reforms are a giant step towards a fully-fledged Nanny state.

Social Welfare spokesperson Asenati Lole-Taylor says the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill crosses the line on how parents raise their children in the privacy of their own homes.

“The reforms impose social obligations on beneficiaries such as enrolling children from benefit-dependent homes in early childhood education from age three.

“New Zealand First disagrees with the Government placing unreasonable restrictions on parents’ rights to raise children in the way they see fit.

“The Bill is an embarrassment in that it sends a clear message that New Zealand is no longer a great place to raise children because the state feels it must intervene in such a heavy-handed manner.”

Mrs Lole-Taylor says the Bill’s negative impacts on families receiving welfare assistance will be felt for years to come.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if sometime down the track we are back in Parliament having to push through remedial laws to fix the unforeseen circumstances this flawed Bill will create.

“The question that needs to be asked is whether Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is prepared to take full responsibility when this policy falls apart, or will she simply hide under the National Party safety net?,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

ENDS

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