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

 


Punitive Approach to Beneficiaries Misguided

CTU Media Release

5 December 2012

Punitive Approach to Beneficiaries Misguided

The Council of Trade Unions told the Social Services Select Committee at Parliament today that the punitive approach to beneficiaries is misguided. The real issue is that there are not enough jobs.

Submitting on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Secretary Peter Conway said that “between 1999 and 2008 the number of people on unemployment benefit fell from 162,000 to 17,700 and that was due to more and more jobs being available. This Bill therefore is the wrong approach, we need government policy and investment that promotes decent jobs”.

The CTU also opposed amendments which to reduce the benefit by 50 percent if the beneficiary does not meet new social obligations like enrolling children into childcare, and noted that the Bill introduces these sanctions despite the Welfare Working Group opposing them. Peter Conway said “in the end these sanctions reduce income for the family, impact negatively on children and increase child poverty.”

“Moves to sanction beneficiaries who refuse or fail pre-employment drug tests are also concerning. The Ministry of Health raised significant issues with the effectiveness, workability and affordability of the proposal and recommended alternative action. The Privacy Commissioner has significant concerns about potential over-reliance on drug testing by employers.”

The CTU is also concerned about potential use of private providers to undertake the new work ability assessments (which assess beneficiaries with disabilities or long-term illnesses as to what work they could do). The introduction of a similar scheme in the United Kingdom has been heavily criticised by doctors, independent auditors and disability advocates for delivering poor outcomes.

Peter Conway said “we are calling on the Government to take action on jobs, boost training opportunities and support industry rather than spend all their time reducing youth wages, removing worker rights such as appeal against unfair dismissal, and passing laws which simply blame beneficiaries for needing a benefit”.


ENDS.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news