Paula Bennett on Welfare Working Group: Nothing is ruled out

Metiria Turei questioned Paul Bennett today on whether she will rule out some of the most extreme and punitive recommendations of the Welfare Working Group (PDF):

A transcript is available here for those with slow internet.

So nothing is ruled out. Not cutting benefits if sole parents refuse to use long-acting contraception. Not forcing beneficiaries to work for 30 hours a week for less than those who do so are receiving now. Not cutting benefits off completely when people fail to meet work-test requirements three times, even in post-earthquake Christchurch.

We really do have a mean and uncaring Government that seems intent on further victimising those who are already victims of the Government’s own failed economic and social policies.

15 Comments Posted

  1. @Drakula 10:00 PM

    No need to apologise, Drakula. You obviously didn’t read my insertion to your comment very carefully. Try thinking about it as targeted at Paula rather than you.

    There was an old slogan from the ’80s:

    People like you give wankers a bad name

    That might put it in context.

  2. Frog; I do apologise and take that back, but I am having difficulties at wondering what is going on in her head or where she is coming from.

    That in itself could be very dangerous territory. OK back to the thread!!

    It seems to me that Ms Bennett is endorsing a eugenics program and she is putting her sisters in the front line instead of the scoundrals who can’t afford (or refuse to use) condoms as Toad pointed out.

    There are a lot of similarities to Jenney Shipley, they don’t seem to like the lower working class or beneficiaries, do they.

    That’s the bit that puzzels me. kicking that ladder!!!!!!!

  3. Of course Bennet is a hypocrite, but the very definition of a politicians is a person who takes privileges (such as the power to make and enforce decisions over other people’s lives) they deny to others. If they didn’t they’d just be ordinary mugs like you and me.

  4. @Vincristine 10:19 PM

    I don’t think Metiria has had that sort of surgery. You must be confusing her with Tariana Turia or (heven forbid) Anne Tolley, both of whom have.

    Anyway, what the hell has that got to do with the Welfare Working Group and its recommendations?

    [frog: Yes there has been too much threadjacking lately. Persistent offenders may find themselves in moderation for a period if it continues. If it is not relevant to the thread topic, post it in general debate or, in cases like the one here, consider whether it is really worth posting at all.]

  5. Probably right db, it shows she has no principled position of her own, she will will just front for whatever policy the men of cabinet and caucus decide on. She’s just the window dressing presenter, as with Shipley in the last National government – because women with children are those most affected by welfare changes.

  6. Is Bennett a always so snippy when replying to questions in the House? She comes across like a sullen teenager being asked how school was today

    Not a Minister with a huge and important portfolio

  7. The only person who gets to rule stuff out is John Key, so it’s hardly surprising that Paula would risk being out of line with her boss. if key hasn’t told Paula he’s ruling it out, then she won’t stick her neck out by speculating.

  8. Well she is definately a hypocrit she has got where she is today with government assistance and she is kicking away the ladder !!!

    Avery nasty trait in human nature!!!!


    I think she needs psychiatric treatment Paula Bennett has got serious problems.

    Time to take the couch Paula!!!!!!!

    [frog: Too far, Drakula. There is already too much stigmatisation of mental illness in society without it being propagated here.]

  9. I found it odd that she didn’t bother to respond to the questions other that “no” or “yes”. Is she being possum-in-the-headlights, overly defensive, or just doesn’t know the answer?

  10. Nope, Alex, no mention in the WWG recommendations of anything about the deadbeat dads who impregnate single mothers and then piss off without taking any responsibility for their children.

    This is deeply misogynist, and it comes from an advisory panel chaired by a woman (Rebstock) and a Minister who is a woman (Bennett). Go figure!

    I guess that given most of the deadbeat dads selfishly vote National for the tax breaks they offer them, that’s somewhere Bennett and National will never go.

  11. i also am gobsmacked at the proposal to deny benefit to single parents who refuse long term contraception. As far as I am aware, the only people able to take long term contraception are women. Does this mean single fathers dont have to worry, or will they have to have a vasectomy? Or is it once again, an example of one rule for one section of society, and one for another? Typical policy from National really.

  12. it seems to me that metiria asking paula bennet all those questions, gave her the best workout she has had in a long time.

    i find the proposal that women on the benefit should be on long term contraception abhorrant, especially when it is highly likely that paula bennet will soon follow tariana turia in having gastric bypass surgery at the tax payers expense. Surely hypocracy by two members of the government. And I would love to know which pharmaceutical lobby group persuaded the WWG to include this legislation in their proposal, as they will be the main beneficial of government money, not the single mothers on the DPB.

    Unfortunately however, I think a lot of New Zealanders will support these typical knee jerk reactions

  13. @Sam Buchanan 5:59 PM

    Yep, Sam. I can accept that would be the approach of the WWG members. Most of them either have a far right ideological bent, or are people who stand to make significant pecuniary gain from the further privatisation of MSD’s job placement services.

    But from Bennett herself? She got to where she is today only through the Training Incentive Allowance allowing her as a single parent to gain a degree in social work or social policy (not sure exactly which, and can’t be bothered looking).

    Now she denies that opportunity to anyone else in the position she was in at the time. I think that is, as Frog puts it, mean and uncaring. It is also hypocritical.

  14. “We really do have a mean and uncaring Government…”

    Do we? Or do we just have a government that believes its own absurdities?

    I suspect the Welfare Working Group and its backers have a commitment to an ideology that has little connection with the reality, rather than particularly suffering from personality flaws.

    I’d guess they lead pretty narrow and sheltered lives, and have seldom had to deal with the consequences of their own actions, but those are still not personality problems.

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