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Govt order is basic compassion for beneficiary parents

Auckland Action Against Poverty


Media Release- Monday 26 May
Government has to issue an order to remind themselves to treat beneficiary parents with basic compassion

On Wednesday 21st of May a caught-out PM made false claims about assistance available to beneficiary parents. Bennett then hastily signed a new order to support Key’s incorrect comments, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman, Nadia Abu-Shanab.

“The Government boasted their Budget featured assistance for vulnerable families, yet extra assistance for new parents has deliberately excluded beneficiaries, who are unquestionably among New Zealand's most vulnerable.


“When questioned over this exclusion, Key argued beneficiary parents could get similar assistance through Work and Income. This is simply not true. We work with parents denied hardship entitlements for things as essential as food and electricity, so the idea that new parents get any specific extra help from Work and Income is the stuff of fairy tales.

“In a quick cover-up that same day, Bennett rushed through a new ministerial directive that calls for Work and Income to do a bare minimum of ‘consider’ if parents have a newborn when they are applying for hardship assistance. Was this vital information not previously worth considering?

“It seems the Government will do everything short of actually addressing the shameful incomes of those in poverty to pretend they care. This directive is nothing but an acknowledgement from Bennett that the status quo at Work and Income is a total disregard for whether people have young children or not.

“It’s quite astounding Work and Income actually need a directive to remind them parents of newborns deserve basic compassion. This direction adds no new entitlement and is a damning indictment of the uncaring culture that welfare reform has created.”

ENDS

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