Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Sanctions not the way to balance welfare books

Sanctions not the way to balance welfare books

The Salvation Army is concerned about the social cost of the Government’s planned benefit reforms.

Salvation Army spokesman Captain Gerry Walker says changes such as raising the earning thresholds for beneficiaries in part-time work, extra funding for Out of School Programmes and more support for helping beneficiaries become work-ready are welcome.

“However, the proposals of work testing and sanctions at a time of a scarcity of jobs seem unnecessarily punitive, particularly when most beneficiaries would take up work tomorrow if it was available,” Captain Walker says.

Without job growth, the Government’s measures are unworkable, particularly when beneficiaries are already vulnerable and struggling on meagre incomes, Captain Walker says.

The possible impact of sanctions on beneficiary families could include: eviction or the inability to pay for power and basic services, healthcare or food.

Captain Walker says forcing single parents into work could see New Zealand facing fiscally expensive social problems down the track.

“We are quick to accuse single parents of not supervising or caring for their children, but if parents are away from home pursuing poor-paying part-time work, this becomes a recipe for more troubled and neglected children,” he says.

Over the past year, The Salvation Army has seen a 40 per cent increase in the demand for food parcels. The Salvation Army has no wish to see these lines of desperate people seeking food assistance lengthen as the State takes it for granted that already hard-pressed non-governmental agencies can cope with a flood of displaced beneficiaries, Captain Walker says.

“The Government needs to be careful not to exploit the goodwill and patience of charitable groups who will have to step in and respond to the human cost of this policy.”

If the Government must go through with its reforms, The Salvation Army asks that they are rolled out with caution and at a pace that follows improvements in the job market.

ENDS

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos


Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?
More


 
 


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.