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”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

    There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


    Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

    While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


    Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

    The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news