Paula Bennett is horrified that people claim to have committed crimes because of poverty and difficulties accessing welfare. She claims welfare is accessible for those in need and is enough to live on. Newsflash Paula: There’s a huge black-market out there of people struggling to survive on low wages and benefits who do all kinds of things to supplement an inadequate income.
It seems Paula Bennett has been reading my Christmas message. She asked me to sing some of it in the House yesterday.
However I wasn’t in the House for the purpose of entertaining the Minister. I wanted to know if she was prepared to meet with the Alternative Welfare Working Group, whose report was launched yesterday.
A couple of months ago, following ACC Minister Nick Smith’s u-turn on counselling for ACC sexual abuse claimants, I called for an independent review of the wide-ranging cutbacks to ACC imposed by the Government. I have now asked some questions about people being moved from ACC to welfare benefits. What really disturbed me about the replies is the huge increase in the number of people being shifted from weekly compensation onto welfare benefits since March 2009.
A printed copy of an email from Paula Bennett turned up at my lilypad very early this morning. Or was it just a nightmare? National’s Plan B – having failed in their objective to strip-mine the land: Strip-mine the poor. Bad for forcing down wage rates; bad for low-income employment churn, especially given the Fire at Will extension; bad for productivity; so ultimately bad for business too. Just plain dumb!
I was delighted to read a rare media story this morning depicting a beneficiary in a positive light! Well done, New Plymouth Mayor Peter Tennent, and well done, Taranaki Daily News.
Paula Bennett: “This debate could get uncomfortable…it could get emotional…we may even see an ugly side of New Zealand…”
And who created that ugly side, Paula?