National ramps up attack on unemployed and solo-mums
“There’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do.” – Paula Bennett, 29 April 2012
As National’s policies fail to generate jobs or economic growth, they are ramping up their attacks on the unemployed and solo-mums (but never solo-dads), demanding that,
“… education be compulsory from the age of 3 for children of welfare beneficiaries.
The decision, announced by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett yesterday, will apply from July to 31,500 children, aged 3 and 4, whose parents are either on sole parent or couple benefits.
Parents will have their benefits halved if they fail to take “all reasonable steps” to keep their children in licensed or certificated early education for at least 15 hours a week from the time they turn 3 until they go to school. “
This is part of National’s ongoing diversion from their own failed policies to generate jobs and grow the economy.
This far, National has attempted to smear the unemployed – victims of the Global Finacial Crisis – as,
- incompetant at budgetting (because benefits are so low)
- drug addicts
- irresponsible “breeders”
The next on their list is painting welfare recipients as “irresponsible parents”.
Make no mistake, this is a carefully planned, strategised attack on the victims of the Global Financial Crisis. It is an attempt to divert National’s inability to create jobs, and escape taking responsibility for meeting their own promises to create jobs,
“New Zealand can’t keep borrowing money at $380 million a week. We can’t have New Zealanders exposed to high interested rates, New Zealanders need a plan for jobs.
“This is a budget that actually delivers that.”
“Treasury say in the Budget, as a result of this platform on what we’ve delivered, 170,000 jobs created and 4% wage growth over the next three to four years.” – John Key
With this failure in mind National Party strategists – fronted by ex-beneficiary Paula Bennett, and ex-state house boy, John Key – have created a climate of vilification against the unemployed, solo-mums (but never solo-dads), widowers, invalids, etc.
This is like the bad old days where rape victims were blamed for being sexually attacked because of the clothing they wore.
The data above clearly shows one thing; welfare recipients were dropping until 2008. When the Global Financial Crisis hit the world, unemployment rose as companies collapsed or cut staffing numbers.
So why is Paula Bennett, John Key, et al, targetting the unemployed simply because they have lost their jobs? Why is National targetting the poor and unemployed through media releases that generate vile headlines like this,
Will Bennett and Key be extending their welfare “reforms” to the redundant workers of these companies,
- ANZ; 1,000 redundancies
- Hakes Marine; 15 redundancies
- Telecom; 400 redundancies
- Brightwater Engineering; 40 redundancies
- Pernod Ricard New Zealand; 13 redundancies
- Depart of Corrections; 130 redundancies
- Summit Wool Spinners; 80 redundancies
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 80 redundancies
- Cavalier/Norman Ellison Carpets; 70 redundancies
- IRD; 51 redundancies
- Flotech; 70 redundancies
- NZ Police; 125 redundancies
- CRI Plant and Food; 25 redundancies
- Te Papa; 16 redundancies (?)
- PrimePort Timaru; 30 redundancies
- Kiwirail; 220 redundancies
- Fisher & Paykel; 29 redundancies
- Goulds Fine Foods; 60 redundancies
- Canterbury University; 150 redundancies (over three years)
- Solid Energy; 363 redundancies
- Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter; 100 redundancies
- Norske Skog; redundancy numbers t.b.a.
- Goodman Fielder; redundancy numbers t.b.a.
- Dunedin City Council/Delta: 30 redundancies
- Blue Sky Meats; 100 redundancies
- Kaipara Ltd/Stockton Alliance; 63 redundancies
Some other facts,
- There are an estrimated 600,000 superannuitants in New Zealand (Source)
- There are an estimated 400,000 families receiving ‘Working for Families’ tax-credits (Source)
Other questions this blogger has for Paula Bennett,
- Will recipients of Working for Families – which some call a “welfare benefit” – also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors?? If not, why not?
- Will superannuitants who are caring for children also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors?? If not, why not?
- Will children of all families, regardless of financial and/or employment circumstance also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors?? If not, why not?
If compulsory early childhood education and doctor’s visits for children of unemployed, solo-mums, and other welfare recipients is such a good idea that National is willing to enact legislation, and financially penalise parents for failing to carry out this policy – why are other parents also not being compelled to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and medical clinics?
Is there a basis upon which only the unemployed who have been made redundant from companies, government departments, and SOEs, are being targetted? What is that basis?
If unemployed or low-income families are financially unable to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education, what steps will National take to offer additional financial assistance?
Welfare Minister Paula Bennett is a coward.
Not only is she maintaining an ongoing hate-campaign against the unemployed – but she refused to front on Radio New Zealand’s “Morning Report” on 12 September. She was bold enough to issue more of her hate-campaign – but too gutless to front and defend her programme,
“The Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, did not want to be interviewed by Morning Report anytime today or last night, saying she was too busy.”
Instead, one of her right-wing lackeys – self-appointed “expert” on welfare, Lindsay Mitchell – stood in for Bennett and made all manner of pious statements about the children of the poor.
Mitchell is a member of the neo-conservative think tank, the “Institute for Liberal Values”; a right wing blogger; and has probably never known a hungry or desperate day in her life. People like her are usually the first to lecture the poor how to live.
(Note: The so-called “Institute for Liberal Values does not seem to exist except as an empty blogsite that contains no information. Quite simply, this organisation that Mitchell claims to represent, does not exist. See: http://liberalvalues.org.nz/ )
If the Minister (Bennett – not Mitchell) hasn’t the courage to explain and defend her policies, then that suggests her policies are indefensible. If a journalist asked any of the questions posited here, Bennett would be unable to answer, clear and simple.
There is no defensible argument that Bennett or Key could possibly provide. Everything that National has done thus far has been an attack on the unemployed – the victims of a global financial crisis none of us had a hand in making.
National doesn’t create jobs. National blames those who have lost their jobs.
National doesn’t address poverty. National blames people for being in poverty.
If, by now, you feel that National is waging war on the poor; the unemployed; solo-mums (but never solo-dads); then you’re not mistaken.
We are at war with our own government.
Email sent to Paul Bennett
Date: Wednesday, 12 September 2012 2:23 PM
From: Frank Macskasy <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Frank Macskasy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Recent “welfare reforms” – Some questions for you.
To: “Paula.email@example.com” <Paula.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Chris Laidlaw RNZ <email@example.com>,
Dominion Post <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Daily News <email@example.com>, Daily Post <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Hutt News <email@example.com>, Jim Mora <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
“Joanna Norris ( DPT)” <email@example.com>,
Kim Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
John Key <email@example.com>, Listener <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Morning Report <email@example.com>,
NZ Herald <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Nine To Noon RNZ <email@example.com>,
Otago Daily Times <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
“email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Q+A <Q+A@tvnz.co.nz>,
Southland Times <email@example.com>, TVNZ News <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
The Press <email@example.com>,
The Wellingtonian <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Waikato Times <email@example.com>,
Wairarapa Times-Age <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kia ora Ms Bennett,Regarding your proposals to compel the unemployed, solo-mothers, etc, to undertake various obligations, or face having their welfare payments cut, I have some questions to put to you;
- Will recipients of Working for Families – which some call a “welfare benefit – also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?
- Will superannuitants who are caring for children also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?
- Will children of all families, regardless of financial and/or employment circumstance also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?If compulsory early childhood education and doctor’s visits for children of unemployed, solo-mums, and other welfare recipients is such a good idea that National is willing to enact legislation, and financially penalise parents for failing to carry out this policy – why are other parents also not being compelled to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and medical clinics?Is there a basis upon which only the unemployed who have been made redundant from companies, government departments, and SOEs, are being targetted? What is that basis?If unemployed or low-income families are financially unable to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education, doctors, etc, what steps will National take to offer additional financial assistance?Do you still stand by your comment that you made on TVNZ’s Q+A on 29 April 2012, that, “there’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do”.And lastly; is this propopsal – plus your other so-called “welfare reforms” – simply not an attack on the unemployed and solo-mothers to deflect attention away from your government’s inability to generate the 170,000 new jobs that Prime Minister John Key promised us at the last election?I await any possible answer you might be able to provide to these questions.Regards,-Frank MacskasyBlogger
PS: This correspondence is not to be regarded as permission, whether actual or implied, to release any personal details about me that the State might hold about me.
Radio NZ Morning Report (audio): Latest welfare reforms dismissed by critics
Radio NZ Morning Report (audio): Bennett warned welfare crackdown could hurt not help kids
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