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Action Against Poverty to picket benefit bashing John Key

Auckland Action Against Poverty to picket benefit bashing John Key

Auckland Action Against Poverty will picket benefit bashing John Key when he debates Phil Goff in the final leaders' debate.

The picket will take place 6.30pm Wednesday 23 November outside TVNZ, 100 Victoria Street West, Auckland.

Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson, Sarah Thompson, says 'the recent welfare reforms to increase surveillance of domestic purposes beneficiaries shows Key's hypocritical nature and enjoyment of benefit bashing'.

'It's interesting that Key has been so quick to stifle the release of the teapot tape yet is recommending increased surveillance of beneficiaries through the tightening of the Social Security Act'.

'This reform is incredibly dangerous for single mothers who are already vulnerable to vicious rumours and complaints to Work and Income from ex-partners or others with an axe to grind'.

'Auckland Action Against Poverty also find the benefit sanctions to be imposed on users of drugs and alcohol morally archaic and abhorrent'.

'Punishing individuals by starving them and their families is not a valid drug and alcohol treatment program' said Ms Thompson.

'This latest policy announcement highlights National's agenda of benefit bashing over research-lead solutions'.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation report 'Welfare reform and substance abuse' (p 2) clearly states:

'The use of a graduated sanctions regime for people with drug or alcohol dependency will lead to the further impoverishment of an already marginalised population and the reduced likelihood of successful treatment outcomes.'

NZDF senior advisor, Sanji Gunasekara, says 'using economic sanctions as a punishment would not help people with addictions to change their behaviour'.

Ms Thompson says 'we must stop benefit bashing and stop the Nats!'

ENDS

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