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

 


Social Security Bill Work Focus Will Make Life Hard for Mums

Social Security Bill Work Focus Will Make Life Harder for Mums

Palmerston North, February 20, 2013 – While the “social obligations” in the government’s Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill promise to disadvantage children, a number of groups have highlighted the additional disadvantages women will face under the benefit reforms, says Barbara Smith of the Home Education Foundation (HEF).

Under the work focus provisions of the Bill, mothers will need to work 15 hours per week once their youngest turns 5 and 30 hours per week once their youngest turns 14.

“Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett believes mothers should work because being jobless is demoralizing,” says Mrs Smith. “But mothers with children to care for are not jobless.”

In a press release dated 12th September 2012, Ms Bennett cited statistics showing that sole parents receive 23% of the costs of welfare. She said, “We can do much better than this, by providing more support to sole parents and others who’ve historically received very little help to get off welfare.”

“This makes it clear that her plan to cut welfare spending relies on getting single mothers away from their children and into the workforce,” says Mrs Smith. “While many women are happy to work to support their families, it’s disgraceful that women with very young children and women who choose the full-time job of educating their children at home right through secondary school will be forced into the workplace under this bill.

“I have heard from hundreds of women who are concerned that their way of life will be threatened by this bill.”

It’s no surprise, says Mrs Smith, that many women’s groups have expressed their concern with the Bill’s relentless work focus provisions for sole mothers.

According to the Beneficiary Advisory Service, the work focus provisions of the Bill “will impact heavily on young women who are caring for an infant” and the resulting stress and anxiety will pose a risk to both mother and child.

The Auckland Women’s Centre “considers that it is a crucial component of the well-being of our society that extra restrictions and difficulties are not enshrined in legislation that will result in limiting a sole-mother’s ability to provide dedicated, quality parenting to their children.” Domestic work, they argue, forms “a normal part of many women’s lives rather than a deviation from male patterns of employment.”

The Psychological Society of New Zealand also found the work focus troubling. “There are many of those who live in Aotearoa/NZ who contribute in alternative ways e.g. a young Maori woman called to care for her sick kuia, voluntary activities for children within a church or a person with a disability acting as an advocate.”

Te Whaainga Wahine, a national network advocating the rights of Maori women, argued that the amendments will compromise the rights of Maori women to care for, protect, and make decisions in the best interests of their tamariki, mokopuna and whanau.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom also believed that the work focus provisions would disadvantage women. “It will create extra stress for people who should be work exempt because they are caring for children. The care of children is not given due importance and this amendment appears to be a punitive measure for those who dare to have another child when they are on a benefit.”

“It’s reasonable to say that the Bill will cause serious disadvantage to women,” says Mrs Smith.

Concerned New Zealanders should write, call, and visit their local MPs and the Select Committee, Mrs Smith urges.

Tell your friends. Make appointments to see the Committee members or your local MP.

“Caring for children and whanau is a real job with real value to society. All women, including beneficiaries, should be able to do the work they are called to.”

The Select Committee members are Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges, Melissa Lee, Jan Logie, Asenati Lole-Taylor, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Alfred Ngaro, Rajen Prasad, Mike Sabin and Su’a William Sio. Letters to individual MPs should be sent to this address (no stamp necessary):

Parliament Office
Private Bag 18888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

More information on the bill and contact details for MPs can be found at http://hef.org.nz/2013/urgent-action-required-social-security-bill/

About the Home Education Foundation

The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 28 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news