Key Suffers Acute Amnesia Over Ruthanasia
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
17 OCTOBER 2016
KEY SUFFERS ACUTE AMNESIA OVER RUTHANASIA
Prime Minister John Key’s boast that his government is the first to raise core benefits in 43 yearsignores the horror years of Ruthanasia and Shipley welfare cuts, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“In fact Mr Key can boast National has been the only government to slash welfare, which Richardson and Shipley did in 1991 with the ‘Mother of all Budgets’ and Shipley continued to tighten eligibility through the 1990s.
“Many believe that was the beginning of a huge inequality gap in New Zealand and the resultant level of poverty that Mr Key finds difficult to explain.
“In 1991 Finance Minister Ruth Richardson slashed benefits – 25% for young people; 20% for sickness beneficiaries, 17% for solo parents – and many were made ineligible having to face six month stand-downs.
“The Key government is sinking under quicksand of their own making – the housing crisis is worsening, the public are waking up to the harsher realties of National’s disastrous immigration policy and poverty has become more entrenched.
“The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recently warned NZ over deeply concerning high rates of poverty, and the economic disparities faced by Māori and Pasifika children.
“Last year, National raised benefits for some families with children by $25 after tax, but it was not an all encompassing $25 extra, and cannot be compared with the benefit cuts and tightening of eligibility that National has done previously.
“The sad reality is child poverty, homelessness and other social ills have deepened under John Key’s National government,” Mr Peters says.