Discrimination Against Beneficiaries Children Must End
December 18, 2008
Media Release from the National Distribution Union
The Government should act immediately to end discrimination against the children of people on income related benefits says the National Distribution Union.
NDU National Secretary Laila Harré welcomes a decision by the Human Rights Review Tribunal yesterday that the In-Work-Tax Credit (IWTC) discriminates against some 200,000 of the most deprived children in New Zealand by excluding them because they don't have a working parent.
"But the Tribunals opinion that the Government can justify this discrimination because of the work incentive it provides is just not applicable when thousands of highly motivated parents are losing their jobs and will be struggling to find new ones," she says.
"This is not the time to cast the children of beneficiaries as the undeserving poor."
Ms Harré says it is not fair for workers to be hit twice, first by losing their jobs and then by losing their $60 a week IWTC.
"The Restart programme has set a precedent by loosening the rules and will help some redundant workers for 16 weeks, but we are looking at a recession that will last a lot longer than that.
"For the sake of our children we need to make this payment available to all low-income families with children regardless of whether they are in work.
"In periods of high unemployment it is jobs that need creating, not incentives to work."