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The Labour Government's Proposed Social Insurance Scheme Will Entrench A 2-tier Welfare System

The government’s announcement about the potential introduction a Social Insurance scheme will entrench a 2-tier welfare system and further exacerbate the already existing high levels of poverty we have here in Aotearoa NZ.

“It’s so deeply problematic. Not only have this Labour government not fully implemented any of their own key WEAG recommendations, which are now the bare minimum given Covid - they’re now looking to create a 2-tier welfare system which is only good for those of us on high wages. The government should have shown this level of urgency in transforming the welfare system, starting with further lifts to benefits, individualizing income support and removing all sanctions, says Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley.

We continue to leave people on work visas behind as they’re not included in the scheme, which means they’ll be open to further exploitation and precarious work and working conditions.

Increasing benefits to Liveable Incomes is good for all of us, as we should be prioritising communities that require the most support first. It also helps to provide competition for people on low wage work as it means businesses will need to raise their wages and provide the best working conditions for people. Transforming the welfare system - the existing social insurance scheme - benefits us all. I’m not sure why this Labour government is ok with making it so much harder for people to live in Aotearoa NZ, when they have the power to alleviate much of the constant stresses people and families are surviving with.

When coupled with Universal Services we can create a system that provides full and whole support to us all as a response to Covid as well as prepare for a just transition to Climate Justice. We can also eliminate poverty in Aotearoa NZ, which will also eliminate much of the harm and violence connected to it in our communities. Isn’t this what we want?

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