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Share The Surplus Protest New Lynn Tuesday


Share The Surplus!


UNITE -Waitemata is calling for all interested groups and individuals to support a campaign to Save the Special Benefit, which will be reduced for many people in 2006, following legislation in the the 2004 Budget .

We are holding a picket outside New Lynn WINZ, 5-9 Hugh Brown Drive, Tuesday 14 December, 11am.

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS PICKET


No Merry Christmas For Beneficiaries

Christmas is an especially hard time for beneficiaries. We struggle to afford children’s presents, visits to grandparents, Christmas dinners, or trips to the beach. Yet these are things that most New Zealanders take for granted. In 1991 the Government instigated severe benefit cuts, which devastated the social fabric of New Zealand and have never been reversed.

In 2004 the Government had a $5.7 billion surplus! However, its “Working for families” budget does next to nothing for the families of beneficiaries. Instead, it actively discriminates against us, and introduces yet another benefit cut!

REINSTATE THE SPECIAL BENEFIT! NO BENEFIT CUTS!

Did you know that the government plans to reduce most core benefits for those with children and the Special Benefit? The Government legislated for this severe Benefit Cut as part of its “family friendly” budget in June this year. In 2005, cuts to the Special Benefit will result in an average of $13.50 loss for those with children because their increased family support will be used in the formula. " (1)

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The Special Benefit was designed to meet any essential needs that could not be met by other entitlements. It is a discretionary benefit, and a person may receive as much money as they need. However, in January 2006, the Government proposes replace the Special Benefit with a far more restrictive benefit called “ Temporary Additional Support”. This will be capped at the level of 30% of the person’s main benefit.

For example, consider the situation of a single unemployment beneficiary with very high travel costs, e.g. a person living rurally who has to travel significant distances twice weekly, at cost of, say, $100 per week, to comply with a custody order of the Family Court regarding his or her children.

Under the current Special Benefit regime, a Special Benefit of up to $100 could be paid in respect of the travel costs to the beneficiary described above, even though this is well above the guideline maximum.
In the example above, at current benefit rates, the maximum Temporary Additional Support payable would be $49.25. This would leave the beneficiary with a shortfall of $50.75 in meeting his or her travel costs. He or she would have only $113.31 left to meet all other expenses, including accommodation costs not covered by the accommodation supplement. (2)

Sources:(1) Susan St John, Child Poverty Action Group (2) Green Party information document 2004

RESTORE THE DISABILITY ALLOWANCE FOR COUNSELLING!

Beneficiaries used to be able to receive a Disability Allowance to pay for counselling for as long as they needed it. However now WINZ only provides for 10 sessions, after which the beneficiary must re-apply. This causes enormous stress and financial hardship for beneficiaries with long-term emotional, psychological and psychiatric difficulties.

GIVE TAX CONCESSIONS TO FAMILIES OF BENEFICIARIES!

Most paid workers with families were given significant tax concessions , entitled “In Work Payment” in this year’s Budget. However if you are a paid worker with a family, who also on any kind of benefit; you will receive no tax concessions at all ! This is discrimination! Children of beneficiaries need support just as much as children of non-beneficiaries!

STOP THE HARDSHIP!

The cuts in the Special Benefit and the Disability Allowance will cause extreme poverty for those of us who are already facing great hardship!

Anybody on a benefit who has high accommodation, medical or other essential costs will be severely affected.

Beneficiaries are struggling every day to live, and to support our families, on extremely inadequate benefits.

We are often forced to choose between paying the rent and bills, or putting food upon our table. If we have special needs such as high healthcare costs, we are in an even worse situation.

Many of us have had apply for “top- ups” such the Special Benefit or the Disability Allowance to make ends meet.

Now the lifeline of the Special Benefit is going to be taken away from us!

UNITE! TO REINSTATE THE SPECIAL BENEFIT!

NO MORE CUTS!

The Government is trying to pit paid workers against beneficiaries by lowering benefits and giving tax concessions to workers, at the same time as keeping real wages and real living standards low for all workers and beneficiaries.

In reality we are all in the same boat. Higher benefits mean higher wages.

Many of us are in an out of paid work; and many of us work part time whilst on a benefit.

We are friends and family members, we live and work together. We need to support each other.

Unite! to reinstate the Special Benefit!

Beneficiaries, mothers, students, unemployed and workers Unite! against these cuts.

Unite! against low benefits and low wages!

Unite! for a living income for all workers and beneficiaries!

Raise all benefits at the level of a living wage!

Full employment and Real jobs for all, as of right!

Give the $5.7 billion surplus back to the people!

No corporate tax cuts!

Money for need not for greed!

Money for the poor not for war!

Join your union and pass resolutions supporting the Campaign to Reinstate the Special Benefit. Organise meetings and invite a UNITE! speaker.

JOIN UNITE! the union for low paid workers, unemployed and beneficiaries.

Contact: UNITE! Waitemata Tel (09) 6278655

UNITE! National Headquarters unite.union@clear.net.nz

Issued by UNITE! Waitemata December 04


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