AUCKLAND ACTION AGAINST POVERTY
22 February 2011
‘The Rebstock Welfare Working Group report released today is a disgraceful, dirty attack on beneficiaries and on the very basis of our welfare system’ says AAAP spokesperson Sue Bradford.
‘While some of its recommendations are very much in line with what we expected, others, such as forcing beneficiaries with babies as young as 14 weeks out to work, and foisting ‘long acting reversible contraception’ on vulnerable teenagers take the totalitarian approach to a whole new level.
‘I’m beginning to think they’ve been looking to Nazi Germany for inspiration, with their underpinning ‘work makes free’ philosophy, attempted eugenic control of a portion of the population, and its potential racist implications for Maori.’
As many of us expected, the overarching thrust of the report is to foist a UK type system on New Zealand, where almost all beneficiaries are subject to punitive worktesting and sanctioning, including the sick, injured and disabled – and sole parents from the time their children are 3 years old.
Work and Income is to be totally restructured again, with a lot more focus on the contestable contracting out of services. Basically the report is advocating removing welfare from the political arena and running it along corporate profit taking lines – not surprising when one considers the composition of the working group.
Rebstock and co also call for welfare costs to be calculated on the same actuarial basis as ACC’s, meaning that Governments can easily frighten voters with the supposed ballooning costs of welfare which won’t actually ever happen.
‘Everyone involved in this report, not just Paula Rebstock, should hold their heads in shame.’
‘I hope John Key and Paula Bennett will have enough sense – and compassion - to throw this report in the rubbish, where it belongs.’
Our picket at 2pm this afternoon outside Henderson Work & Income will be the first step in a major fightback against any attempts to implement the recommendations of today’s report.
AAAP was set up in late 2010 to bring together unemployed people, beneficiaries, students, unionists, church people and others working for a fairer society which puts the wellbeing of low income people above the welfare of bankers and investors.
Contact: Sue Bradford ph 027 243 4239 or (09) 837 0416, email firstname.lastname@example.org