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

 

Work & Income intimidation culture linked to disconnections

Media Release Tuesday 25 March

Work & Income culture of intimidation linked to surge in power disconnections.

A deepening culture of intimidation at Work & Income explains why more people are going without power, and less are receiving their hardship entitlements to cover electricity and gas payments, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Alastair Russell.

“Last year, over 41,085 households in New Zealand had their power disconnected. That’s a quadrupling of disconnections since 2008. It’s a shocking increase in the amount of people living without their basic need for power met, “ says Russell. At the same time, hardship grants for power payments have dropped almost 20% since 2011.”

Energy Minister, Simon Bridges, expressed surprise that hardship grants have consistently fallen, despite the Work & Income entitlement criteria remaining the same. “The Minister obviously lacks an understanding of the extent to which peoples access to their entitlements for emergency needs is being impeded by the routine harassment and intimidation beneficiaries face at Work & Income,” says Russell.

“The Energy Minister needn’t look further than his colleague, Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, for an explanation as to why people are clearly not gaining their entitlements in desperate times,” says Russell. “Entitlements surrounding hardship grants may remain the same as they were two years ago on paper, but the culture beneficiaries face at Work & Income has changed as a direct result of Bennett’s broader attack on beneficiaries through her reforms.”



“This deprivation is an indictment on Bennett and her Ministries pressure on Work & Income to reduce grants to beneficiaries to a bare minimum, even in instances where people are entitled and most need them,” says Russell. “People are facing sharply rising costs for their basic needs like power and food. Vulnerable people have died due to power disconnections.” he adds.

“Further tragedies are avoidable. Compassionate access to hardship grants for electricity and gas is a necessity in tough times, these statistics are a strong indicator of the toxic culture within Work & Income. The National Government must face up to the responsibility of the environment it has created.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


'Public Safety': Next Firearms Reform Plan Announced

The next Arms Amendment Bill will:

• Establish a register of firearms and licence holders to be rolled out over 5 years
• Tighten the rules to get and keep a firearms licence
• Tighten the rules for gun dealers to get and keep a licence
• Require licences to be renewed every five years
• Introduce a new system of warning flags so Police can intervene and seek improvement if they have concerns about a licence holder’s behaviour
• Prohibit visitors to New Zealand from buying a gun... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Being Australia's Pacific Go-Fers

Inevitably, there was an aspect of ‘what might have been’ about the weekend’s meeting in Canberra between PM Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>

ALSO:

Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels