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

 


Welfare Reform - New Zealand Association of Social Workers

Press Release

Welfare Reform -New Zealand Association of Social Workers

The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ will become even wider under the new wave of ‘welfare reform’. This is the view of the President of Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW), Jane Maidment. Current ‘welfare reform’ or the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013 that took effect on 15 July makes it very difficult to achieve any sense of progressive social or economic equality, at a time when this is critical according to ANZASW. This welfare ‘reform’ will widen the economic gap in society but more importantly it will encourage and justify the current social inequalities. By highlighting the negative small percentage of cases, in which the benefit has been misused or misappropriated it is sending the message to society that they need not care or should not need to help beneficiaries. The misrepresentation of all beneficiaries not only serves as the reasoning for the welfare reform but as a catalyst for division within communities.

Instead of using positive encouragement to highlight beneficiary skills and potential, the government is now sending the message that beneficiaries should take any job in any workplace and put aside aspirations of furthering their education and workplace skills. This approach will not only undermine personal aspirations and goals but ultimately discourage beneficiaries from entering education and training. Ironic, it seems, as the involvement in education and training would be a step in the right direction to creating a society that has social and economic equality.

These latest moves risk further marginalizing all beneficiaries by fuelling an existing negative stereotype that all beneficiaries want to stay on benefit, thus wasting taxpayers’ money with no intention of getting back to work. This, quite obviously, is not the case. While we acknowledge that there are some cases of people misusing the benefit it seems that the entire range and scope of beneficiaries are being punished for a small percentage of exceptions.

Considering the growing costs of food, accommodation and other essentials in our current society, decreasing the amount of money beneficiaries receive will increase financial stress and will mean some families and individuals will not have the means to provide the bare essentials. Ample evidence of the effects of child poverty exists in New Zealand and these ‘reforms’ will simply exacerbate an already intolerable living situation for many families. With the focus of getting beneficiaries into work parental time with children will be compromised. Even more concerning are the cases where grandparents raising their grandchildren have now been asked to visit Work and Income to seek employment.

We would hope and expect that New Zealand could be a society where grandparents needing to raise their grandchildren could be financially supported in doing so, not badgered by the state to stay in employment.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Day:


Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence.

The changes follow the resignations from Cabinet of Hekia Parata and Murray McCully.

In other changes Simon Bridges has been appointed Leader of the House and Nicky Wagner has been made Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration. More>>

 

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aged-Care Settlement

Until yesterday, a National government has always been the sworn enemy of women seeking justice in the workplace, in the face of gender-based pay discrimination. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news