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Beneficiaries Join May Day Parade

1/5/01

BENEFICIARIES JOIN MAY DAY PARADE

The Benefit Rights Service of The People’s Centre of Wellington will be participating in the May Day rally today. Their message is aimed at destroying the common misconception that “beneficiaries have it easy”. Workers from The Benefit Rights Service will be handing out fake money equivalent to that of a benefit with a list of living costs on the reverse illustrating the hardship faced by those on a benefit.

The Benefit Rights Service recognises “...that May day has traditionally been marked by an anti-capitalist protest. Globalisation and the upsurge of free trade agreements sit at the forefront of the modern capitalist agenda. The consequences are: an unfair distribution of wealth, the loss of local jobs and local production and the progressive reduction of New Zealand’s sovereignty which allows it to determine its own welfare system.”

“An increasing number of beneficiaries feel the harsh financial impact of New Zealand’s free market policies every day. The last decade of social welfare reform in New Zealand has been governed by free market economics which has taken its toll on some of New Zealand’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Many innocent people have faced allegations of fraud, benefit cuts, targeting, compulsory work-testing, and mandatory interviewing simply for being out of a job.”

“We are calling on the government of New Zealand to move to a rights based welfare model where people are acknowledged and supported in their struggle for Tino Rangatiratanga; where the rights of people come first. The current targeted welfare system in New Zealand with its ideology of Benefit dependency, reciprocal obligation and fiscal performance is an insult to human integrity.”


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