Prime Minister John Key announced his new Cabinet this morning. The line-up is pretty predictable, but some of the portfolio allocations and rankings are interesting: The big winners are Steven Joyce and Hekia Parata, moving up 10 and 13 places respectively in the Cabinet ranking. Parata replaces Anne Tolley as Minister of Education. Paula Bennett’s […]
This afternoon John Key and Paula Bennett announced the National Party’s long-heralded welfare reform package. As I expected, it is a punitive war on the poor that will harass beneficiaries into low paid jobs, or in many cases off benefit and into no job at all because the jobs simply don’t exist. Metiria says National is backing […]
Parliamentary questions are meant to be one of the ways in which the Government and its Ministers are kept accountable to Parliament, and through those of us who are privileged to serve as its Members, to the people of New Zealand. So I am pretty disappointed when I get replies like these to written Parliamentary […]
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has realised that if you’re going to work-test sole parents and force them into low-paid jobs when their children are six (or younger), someone’s going to have to look after the kids.
Yesterday, I went along to the $8.95 Welfare Forum organised by the Alternative Welfare Working Group. I was pleased to see around 100 people turn out – twice the number I’ve been told were at the $895 Welfare Conference opened by Paula Bennett yesterday. Minister Bennett was, as I expected, a no-show at the $8.95 […]
Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development and Employment issued this bizarre media release: Recently released figures show that Work and Income are helping more people in need says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. “Special Needs Grants for hardship have increased by over 50 per cent since March 2008,” says Ms Bennett. “So yes, that does […]
Here’s some more information to support my argument that the Welfare Working Group’s recommendations (PDF) are driven by far right ideology rather by evidence. At page 23 of its report, the Welfare Working Group recommends: …a credible work for welfare scheme be established, in order to test the willingness of a small group of recipients […]
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. Bennett rules nothing out. 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.
Buried at page 53 of the Welfare Working Group’s report is this extraordinary statement: “…the total number of jobs will expand to equal the number of people who are available and actively seeking work.”
Gordon Campbell has a great piece in this month’s Werewolf debunking some of the myths about welfare trotted out by the beneficiary bashers. Here are a few of the highlights: