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National’s war on the poor intensifies

Mana – Election 2011
Tuesday 1 November 2011
National’s war on the poor intensifies

John Key has lifted National’s war on the poor to another level this afternoon says Mana’s Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford.

‘Today’s proposals, as expected, have been lifted straight from the Rebstock Welfare Working Group report,’ says Ms Bradford.

‘They are even going ahead with worktesting some mothers when their baby is only 12 months old.

“There is no talk about Government creating jobs – or about acknowledging the value of non paid work, like caring for babies and children.

‘John Key is calling it an ‘investment’ approach to welfare but the only investment is in a big stick with which to beat unfortunate beneficiaries.

‘This is simply about more punishment, intimidation and harassment of those dependent on the welfare system for survival.

‘A new ‘Sole Parent Support’ benefit will see all single parents worktested from when their youngest child turns 5 but if a mother on welfare has another child, she will be worktested from the time her baby is 12 months old.

‘Sickness beneficiaries are to be placed in the same category as unemployed people and worktested as well,

‘All this worktesting is about one thing only – harassing people off the benefit as quickly as possible, and/or doing everything Work and Income can to stop them getting the benefit in the first place.

‘We are already seeing a huge number of people giving up and leaving Work & Income without their entitlements because of the disrespect and petty intimidation they face on a daily basis.

Government neither knows nor cares what happens to people who have no job and no income, even though the downstream costs are likely to outweigh the meagre benefit to which they’re entitled.

‘The welfare crisis in this country is an employment and poverty crisis. Mana knows that job creation and a fairer income support system are what we need, not continuing to punish, intimidate and harass beneficiaries.

ENDS

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