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


'Low trust' rules treat beneficiaries as 2nd class citizens

15 October 2013: News from CPAG

Child Poverty Action Group says the 'low trust client' rules another example of treating beneficiaries as second class citizens.

Child Poverty Action Group spokesperson Associate Professor Mike O'Brien says the latest measures to punish welfare fraudsters demonizes all beneficiaries and serves only to add further stigma to individuals and families who require government support.

"This latest measure is worrying for us, particularly when we think about the effects on children and the unfairness to beneficiaries. Their children by association are once more treated as second class citizens."

Particularly concerning was the onus on people receiving benefits accused of benefit fraud to prove otherwise when 84 per cent of cases investigated by the Social Development Ministry last year failed to lead to any prosecution.

Further unsettling is that partners of people on benefits found to have committed 'welfare fraud 'can now be held criminally responsible implying they are also complicit. "While it is unjust that the DPB recipient is landed with entire repayment of her benefit, and often a prison term, when so called relationship fraud is alleged, there are real dangers, for example, in violent relationships of a heavy handed approach. This new measure comes across as intimidation, giving a message to all beneficiaries that they can expect draconian consequences, much worse than that applied to other members of society who break the law. "

"The government needs to think very carefully about the culture and values we are creating within our communities particularly when vulnerable children are being placed further at risk," says Assoc. Prof O'Brien.

He says it was too easy for administrative blunders and finger pointing to set in train a series of events which could have devastating effects for families already under increasingly financial strain.

CPAG advocated the need for child centred policies and says these new measures are draconian and serve only to place further stress to families already vulnerable.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news