National ramps up attack on unemployed and solo-mums (part rua)
Continued from: National ramps up attack on unemployed and solo-mums
Yesterday (12 September) Welfare Minister Paula Bennett released this piece of spectacular “data” to the media,
It was one of those “Shock! Horror!” stories that the media loves – great headlines, not much critical analysis. When you read the whole “story”, the questions that are not answered scream out at you,
- What is full meaning of the statement “An actuarial valuation conducted as part of the Government’s welfare reforms shows the average total cost of those who had received a working-age benefit in the year to June 30, 2011 was $78.1b”?
- Why did the Fairfax reporter not cross-reference invalid and sickness beneficiaries to ACC policy of “exiting” clients onto welfare, where ongoing rehabilitation was not available? (ACC staff rewarded for cutting off clients – MP)
- How accurate is the report?
- How does this report help create 170,000 new jobs, promised by John Key last year? (See: Budget 2011: Govt predicts 170,000 new jobs)
- What was the point of the report, when Bennett herself has admitted on TVNZ’zs Q+A,“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 (See: http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/transcript-paula-bennett-interview-4856860)
- Why has National spent $800,000 on this “report”, when previously Bennett refused to undertake further research to gain information on child poverty, “of course there is poverty in New Zealand. This has been acknowledged by the Government but it’s not a priority to have another measure on it” ? (See: Combating poverty more important than measuring it.)
It’s interesting that Paula Bennett rejected calls for further research to quantify the levels of child poverty in this country stating that, ” it’s not a priority to have another measure on it” – but feels it necessary to spend nearly a million dollars of our taxes on a study of “an actuarial valuation” on long-term costings of welfare.
If this doesn’t raise the hackles and outrage of New Zealanders then they are truly braindead.
Worse still is the timing of the realease of the Taylor Fry report.
The report – designed to paint unemployed and solo-mums in a maximum damning light – was released on 12 September.
A day later, this story became public,
Thus far, that story does not seem to have appeared in any other media.
It has been quietly “buried” under a mountain of negative press releases from National.
This blogger has zero doubt that National was fully aware that Statistics New Zealand was in the process of releasing the data on job losses to the public. That story, plus ongoing redundancies and rising unemployment led National’s taxpayer-funded spin-meisters to pre-empt Statistics New Zealand’s bad news shocker, and instead release their own “Shock, Horror!” story.
Thus far, it seems to have worked.
But for how long?
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank has released an astonishing report blaming National’s policies for low economic growth,,
” Fiscal consolidation is expected to have a substantial dampening influence on demand growth over the projected horizon. This consolidation will, all else equal, lead to a lower OCR (official cash rate) than would otherwise be the case.“
National fails to create the 170,000 new jobs they promised us last year, and blames beneficiaries for their incompetance? Noice.
Yesterday, this blogger emailed Paula Minister on National’s recent bout of beneficiary bashing,
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.
Her office has responded today (13 September),
Date: Thursday, 13 September 2012 9:06 AM
From: Natalie Hansen <Natalie.Hansen@parliament.govt.nz>
To: “‘email@example.com’” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FW: Recent “welfare reforms” – Some questions for you.
The Hon Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development has asked me to thank you for your email.
Consideration is currently being given to the matters you raise and you may expect a reply at the Minister’s earliest opportunity.
Private Secretary, Office of Hon Paula Bennett Minister for Social Development | Minister of Youth Affairs Executive Wing 5.5, Parliament Buildings| Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160
Telephone: +64 4 817 6815 | Fax: +64 4 817 6515 | Email: Natalie.email@example.com
” Consideration is currently being given to the matters“ I raised?
It will be interesting to see what – if any – rational response Bennett comes up with. This should be good.
Date: Monday, 24 September 2012 3.57PM
From: “J Key (MIN)” <J.Key@ministers.govt.nz>
To: Frank Macskasy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Recent “welfare reforms” – Some questions for you.
Dear Mr Macskasy,
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, I acknowledge the copy of your email sent for Mr Key’s information.
Ministerial Assistant/Records Officer
Office of the Prime Minister
No further response received from Paula Bennett’s office as at 24 September.
Scoop.co.nz: Combating poverty more important than measuring it
NZ Herald: Fate of youth gloomiest stat of all
NZ Herald: Benefit tally ‘not an excuse for hard line’
= fs =
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