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

 

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news