Paula Bennett: one strike and she’s out.
National’s diversionary strategem of inferring that our high rate of unemployment is a deliberate life-style choice, and the fault of the unemployed, continues unabated. In large part, with few exceptions, this strategem of Divert & Deflect, is aided and abetted by a compliant media.
People like Fairfax’s Tracey Watkins, and NZ Herald’s John Armstrong and Fran O’Sullivan, have been unquestioning in their slavish “reporting” of National’s assault against the unemployed.
The latest from National Politburo member, Comrade Bennett, is a new diktat imposed upon the unemployed that ” cancels payments for those who refuse [an] offer of ‘suitable’ job “,
To repeat and quote Bennett, when she stated on TVNZ’s Q+A on 29 April,
“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. “
#1 – Where are the jobs?
Where are the jobs – especially the 170,000 that Dear Leader Key promised us last november?
This is not just a rhetorical question – National was re-elected upon their (undeserved) reputation as “prudent stewards of the economy”. And a pledge to create 170,000 new jobs.
That they have failed to produce these new jobs, is an understatement. Unemployment continues to rise.
And redundancies continue on an almost daily/weekly basis,
- ANZ; 1,000 redundancies
- Wire by Design, 55 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; 158 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
- Axiam Metals; 44 redundancies
- Norske Skog; 120 redundancies
- Goodman Fielder; redundancy numbers t.b.a.
- Dunedin City Council/Delta: 30 redundancies
- Blue Sky Meats; 100 redundancies
- Kaipara Ltd/Stockton Alliance; 63 redundancies
- Wainuiomata New World; 44 redundancies
- Nuplex; 64 redundancies
- Newmont Waihi Gold; 20 redundancies
So, where are the jobs, Comrade Bennett?
Never mind turning down one job – with 162,000 unemployed all competing for a small, limited number of jobs – most jobless people will not even have the luxury of one job offer.
This blogger has a sneaking suspicion that Comrade Bennett is referring to pseudo-“jobs”,
- telemarketing (best done at dinner time)
- door-to-door salesperson (households love to greet strangers on their doorstep, flogging vacuum cleaners)
- prostitute (highly skilled/motivated to satisfy clients’ needs; someone with passionate people-skills)
- chimney cleaner (for small-builds, to facilitate easier access up chimneys)
- rent-a-womb (for rich, childless couples – males beneficiaries may be excused from this, at WINZ discretion)
- fruit picker (traditionally seasonal work – but still doable in winter time, lack of fruit is NO excuse!)
All growth industries, no doubt.
#2 – An alternative to the ‘One Strike’ policy?
The WINZ Charter, as follows,
What you can expect from us
- give you prompt and efficient service
- let you know about our services and how we can help
- give you information that is correct and easy to understand
- give you the assistance you are entitled to
- explain your rights and obligations
- explain why we ask you to do certain things
- listen carefully so we understand what you are telling us
- be understanding and caring about your needs
- be respectful, friendly and professional in the way we serve you
- tell you who may be able to help if we can’t.
You have the right to:
- be treated with courtesy and respect
- cultural sensitivity
- use any of our services
- be given information about the services we offer
- be given correct information and entitlements
- be listened to
- be given fair, non-judgemental service
- have your information kept private and confidential
- have any decisions we make explained to you
- have a support person there whenever you deal with us
- make a complaint or ask for a review if you disagree with us.
So that we can help, you need to:
- give us the information we need to assess your entitlements
- make sure any information you give us is correct
- tell us about any changes in your situation
- keep any agreements you have made with us
- attend and be prepared for our meetings
- tell us if you’re unable to keep an appointment
- treat our staff with courtesy and respect.
I propose a minor amendment to the above Charter with one addition,
Our prime obligation to you:
- we are committed to honouring the Prime Minister’s pledge to create new 170,ooo jobs
- we will have one chance to provide suitable work from one of those 170,000 new jobs; at decent pay-rates; within reasonable travel time/distance
- failure to comply will mean that the Minister of Social Welfare will have her Ministerial salary docked at the rate of unemployment benefit, for each week that you remain unemployed
- if, after one year of failing to honour our committment to you, and you are still unemployed, the Prime Minister will personally apologise to you, and will either provide a meaningful job for you, or support you into retraining at a nearby polytech or University, to be paid out of his own $50 million bank account
I think that amendment is fair, and puts the onus on to John Key and Paula Bennett to fulfill their obligations to us, the public, and to those people who voted National on the basis of creating 170,000 new jobs.
Let’s see National meet their obligations: 170,000 new jobs, as promised.
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
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~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $18.40/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
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