The Government’s welfare reforms have become law but the controversial policy will continue to dog National, with a rowdy protest planned for the party’s annual conference at Sky City this weekend.
Teen beneficiaries will have their payments managed as soon as next month and new requirements for solo beneficiary parents to look for work will come into effect in October. Parliament passed the changes by 64 votes to 57 last night.
I honestly don’t think we do teenagers a favour by just handing the benefit over to an 17 year old, and saying here’s the money, now go away. Likewise while we must have a welfare state that looks after children and parents who are left without enough financial support, we shouldn’t have a welfare state that encourages a sole parent on welfare to have further children.
The changes have been labelled an attack on the poor by beneficiary advocates, but the Government says it will modernise welfare and overhaul the system from a passive approach to an active, work-focused system.
Auckland Action Against Poverty and the Auckland-based student movement Blockade the Budget will picket National’s conference on Sunday in protest to the reforms.
Excellent, not the same without Sue Bradford there. I recall one conference in Dunedin where she charged into the church service, and one of Bolger’s staff did a very nice tackle on her. For years afterwards many delegates thought Todd was DPS, rather than a political advisor!
Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Sue Bradford said there were no jobs for beneficiaries to move into, especially those who could only work between the hours of 9am and 3pm, or who faced leaving their children at home alone after school.
In which case they will remain on the benefit. The requirement is to seek and be available for work – not to gain a job. Having said that, while there are not jobs for everyone on welfare – there are and will be jobs for some. The jobs market is fluid, not static. There are always vacancies coming up.
The Government failed to realise that parenting was a job in itself, she said.
It is a job, and hence generally no work-testing until the child is five.
Beneficiaries will also been given access to long-term reversible contraception.
How awful. That’s just like Nazi eugenics according to the Dom Post cartoonist Hodgson.Tags: welfare reform