Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

‘Open your eyes’ Caritas tells select committee

CARITAS AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

30 November 2012

‘Open your eyes’ Caritas tells Committee considering welfare changes

Catholic social justice agency Caritas has told a Parliamentary select committee to open its eyes to economic realities in its legislative oversight of government welfare changes.

‘There’s no point extending job queues by asking the ”blind and the lame”, and others in difficulty, to keep on proving they are seeking work,’ says Caritas research and advocacy coordinator Lisa Beech.

‘Increasing the size of the job queues at this time is unreasonable,’ she told the Social Services Select Committee considering the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill this week. ‘Having 400 people in line for 10 supermarket check-out jobs rather than 200 is not going to make more work magically available. But it is making life much harder and more stressful for people.’

Under the Bill, an invalid’s beneficiary who is reclassified as a ‘job-seeker’ will face a cut in income from $256 to $213 a week – effectively a benefit cut of $42 per week.

‘The blind will not see, and the lame will not walk as a result of this legislation,’ Lisa Beech told the Committee, ‘But their incomes will be cut while they are sent out to search for jobs that are simply not there. That is far from being good news for the poor.’

Caritas CEO Julianne Hickey said that Caritas opposed the Bill because, like the Welfare Working Group which preceded the legislation, the Bill focused on the motivation and behaviour of individuals who receive benefits, rather than the economic and structural context of unemployment.

‘Assumptions that the root causes of unemployment are to be found in the behaviour of individuals has resulted in legislation which focuses on individual behavior,’ she said.

Caritas challenged the Select Committee to fulfil its constitutional role as representatives of the Legislature in overseeing the power of Cabinet – the Executive branch of government.

Lisa Beech told the Committee they had not yet been fully informed about the serious concerns of the community to the measures proposed in the Bill, despite three years of engagement by Caritas and many other organisations in the processes of the Welfare Working Group, Alternative Welfare Working Group and the Select Committee process around the first phase of welfare reform.

‘The role of the Select Committee is not merely to rubberstamp decisions of the Executive, or to provide some kind of legal proofreading of minor details of legislation.’

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

ENDS.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election