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

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news