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NZ First to support draconian welfare bill

19 March 2013

NZ First to support draconian welfare bill

New Zealand First has jumped on the beneficiary-bashing bandwagon with its support for the latest welfare reform legislation.

“We find it extremely odd that that they will now vote for the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill when their own minority report on the bill criticises the legislation in no uncertain terms,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sarah Thompson.

“In NZ First’s Select Committee report, they claim that the drastic sanctions and dramatic reforms will not lead to more beneficiaries in paid employment, nor do they believe they will decrease so-called welfare dependency.

“Instead, they call the Government’s reforms a 'dog-whistle approach’ that ‘will feed the increasing poverty gap and develop a double standard New Zealand'.

“New Zealand First are clearly voting against their better judgment.

“The well-being of vulnerable people is being sacrificed in what we suspect is a bid to shore up their vote among the ignorant and prejudiced who don’t realise or don’t care about the disastrous consequences of the current legislation.

This latest bill, due back in Parliament tomorrow, will see thousands of the most vulnerable people in New Zealand subject to even greater hardship, stress, poverty and homelessness than they currently face.

“Auckland Action Against Poverty call on all parties - including NZ First which should and does know better - to oppose these harmful reforms.”

NZ First minority review report available here: http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BA3A8C04-EA05-454D-8875-EA715B021E0B/266329/DBSCH_SCR_5776_SocialSecurityBenefitCategoriesandW.pdf

ENDS

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