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National day of protest against Welfare Reform

National day of protest against Welfare Reform

Throughout New Zealand today groups and individuals will be protesting against the National Party's latest proposals for reforming the welfare system.

Kay Brereton from the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand supports the protest action. “These are grass roots protest actions, organised by and for the people likely to be affected by these reforms. People have chosen this a day to peacefully protest against reforms they see as punitive.”

“One of the issues that people have spoken to me about is the definition of 'suitable work', and the imposition of a thirteen week cancellation of benefit for a person judged by W&I to have turned down an offer of suitable employment. Both employers and job seekers would be better served by a reform that ensures that the right people are matched to the right jobs; so that long term sustainable employment is the goal, not just lowering the number of people on benefit.”

“The way that the government has framed these reforms, and painted people on benefits as an underclass is very damaging to our social structure. This is a deliberate attempt to pitch the 'currently employed poor' against the 'currently not employed poor' as part of the economic strategy to keep wages low and maintain a large and responsive labour force.”

“What job seekers need is assistance and encouragement to help build self esteem and confidence to keep seeking employment in a very tough market; what these reforms offer is bullying and punishment.”

“It is expected that there will be protests in most large centres, protests are planned in Kaikohe, Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin.”


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