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Plan to push 100,000 off welfare with no job plan in place

Press release
John Minto, Vice-President MANA Movement
Wednesday 20 March 2013

Government’s plan to push 100,000 off welfare with no job plan in place is shameful

“It’s shameful that the government is pressing ahead with this latest round of welfare changes”, says John Minto, Vice-President of the MANA Movement. “When the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill comes up in the House for its second reading later today there’s only one place it belongs – in the rubbish, because that’s how it treats people impacted by it –as rubbish.”

The bill marks the second big step in the wave of reforms initiated by Paula Bennett and Paula Rebstock back in 2010, all aimed at getting up to 100,000 beneficiaries off welfare in the next ten years.

“MANA would be delighted if this goal meant the government was committed to a serious job creation plan that would see 100,000 of those currently unemployed achieve decent jobs at decent wages.
But sadly that is not the plan.”

“Instead, National is hell bent on measures which will see:
• sole parents, the sick, injured and disabled harassed by a work testing regime designed to push them into any work at any cost, and which would set them up to compete with other low paid and unemployed workers in an increasingly difficult job market;
• compulsory drug testing used to get people off the unemployment benefit rather than actually helping them with either employment or addiction issues; and
• the further privatisation and outsourcing of services traditionally provided by the state, and without being upfront about it.”

“And Maori and Pacific Peoples will be disproportionately affected by this legislation and are fed up with being kicked around by a government which cares more about getting votes from its beneficiary-bashing support base than it does about people who already spend their lives in a daily struggle for survival.”

“The answers to poverty and unemployment lie in the creation of decent jobs, support for community economic development, and a major overhaul of the current rotten welfare apparatus, not in measures like these which only serve to deepen inequalities.

ENDS

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