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

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party.

In scenario one, Cunliffe could resign immediately and trigger a leadership vote among the caucus, the party membership and unions affiliates. This would be a high risk gambit in that it would pre-empt any review of the Labour election campaign and would be likely to open up new divisions.

While one can safely predict the caucus would vote against Cunliffe, the wider party and union response would be unpredictable, given that Cunliffe (ineptly) ran a centrist neo-Goff/Shearer campaign this year and not the left wing campaign that those who voted him into the leadership were expecting him to pursue. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news