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Halving Benefits an Insane Logic


MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira

Halving Benefits an Insane Logic

Tuesday 11th September

“How will chopping a parents benefit in half lead to better outcomes for their kids? How do those two things even fit together – it’s an insane logic”, says MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira in response to Paula Bennett’s announcement that the government will cut benefits by up to 50% if beneficiary parents don’t comply with their policies.

“And you know why they continue to push this line? Because they know that beneficiary-bashing helps drum up voter support and keep the focus off their total lack of solutions to stop yet more job losses throughout the country”.

“To pretend it’s for the good of the kids involved would be laughable if it wasn’t so sickening. The government’s repeated efforts to punish beneficiary parents is a sure fire way to ensure their kids remain at the bottom of the heap – and it’s a move that will affect Maori and PI kids most of all”.

“MANA welcomes any moves to increase government support for things like early childhood education aimed at children in our poorest communities, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the income upon which families depend for survival”.

“Yes we need welfare reform – but it should start with creating decent jobs for those who’re unemployed and ensuring those who are on benefits get a liveable income. It should start with picking up key recommendations from the Children’s Commissioner’s expert advisory group on child poverty like providing meals in low decile schools. It should start with what works to enhance whānau and community wellbeing which is certainly not about making continuous brutal attacks on those who already have the least”.

MANA has recently introduced a bill to the Member’s ballot to introduce breakfast and lunch programmes in all decile 1 and 2 schools in New Zealand. The proposed programmes would be required to meet Ministry of Health nutritional guidelines and would be monitored annually.


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