Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Blanket reforms set refugees up to fail

31 August 2013

Blanket reforms set refugees up to fail

Revelations that Work and Income is sending generic letters to refugees threatening their benefits --in a language they can't even read-- beggar’s belief, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.

“I was astounded to read a letter from Work and Income to a young mother from Burma, which said that she must enrol in a Limited Service Volunteer course, often referred to as a military style boot camp, or risk having her benefit cut. Not only was the suggestion in the letter completely wrong, it was written in a language she simply couldn't understand.

“These blanket style letters in no way fulfil our obligations to the refugee community or the many other vulnerable people who are having exactly the same experience,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The job market is tough at the moment and for those grappling with English as a second language the challenge is an uphill battle. Mass mail outs from Work and Income make matters worse. Under this government we are seeing the individual circumstances of refugees put into the ‘too hard basket’.

"I have seen first hand how desperate refugees are to learn English and find work to support themselves. But instead of supporting them to do that, this Government has cut second languages courses.


“The Government has an obligation to give refugees a fair go when they settle in New Zealand. This includes providing translations of key correspondence and translators for dealings with Work and Income.


“Despite talk of ‘tailored support’ many refugees are struggling to communicate with case managers and are being denied adequate translation services.

“Refugees, many of whom have fled war torn countries are entitled to specialised government support – that’s a part of the moral obligation we take on as a country when we agree to offer settlement in New Zealand.

“The Government isn’t meeting its end of the deal and gaps in our refugee support services are fast becoming gaping holes.

“It is in all of our interests for migrants to succeed upon settlement. The Minister needs to reinstate ESOL funding and review the way Work and Income is communicating its refugee services,” Jacinda Ardern said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>

 

UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

ALSO:

Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>

ALSO:

Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>

ALSO:

Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>

ALSO:

Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels