Bravo Paula Bennet, Bravo John Key, Bravo National, your constant beneficiary bashing (announcing a new “get tough” policy every time you need to distract attention from some random crisis or other) has borne its predictable fruit:
Beneficiaries ‘attacked on all sides’
Beneficiaries have overtaken Asians as the group New Zealanders consider to be the most discriminated against.
A UMR Research survey of 750 people, commissioned by the Human Rights Commission has found 74 per cent of people think beneficiaries are facing discrimination. Asians, who have ranked at the top of the list since at least 2003, were second at 72 per cent.
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said it was a change, but nothing to celebrate. “Asian-New Zealanders have been at the top of this list every year. That’s been a fairly consistent piece of data. “But it gives me no joy to see one replace another if they’re at that level. … Welfare reforms could have raised the profile of beneficiaries, Mr de Bres said.
The high scores on the survey were at least an acknowledgement that there was a problem, he said. “We know from the perceptions of discrimination survey that most New Zealanders can see that. Maybe it’s a good fact that people are aware of it. The challenge is still to deal with it.” …
Beneficiary Advocacy Federation spokeswoman Kay Brereton said the discrimination against beneficiaries was severe – they could be left out of social groups and feel potential employers would not take them seriously.
“Beneficiaries are facing quite significant discrimination – they have been attacked, really, from all sides,” Ms Brereton said. “I’m proud of New Zealand to have recognised that discrimination.” …
Numbers on benefits reached historic lows under the last Labour government. They have shot up under National, not because the country suddenly got lazy, but because of National’s amateurish bungling on the economy.
No doubt National will keep playing the odious beneficiary-bashing card (their latest version of Iwi – Kiwi divisive politics). Labour has had one (over hyped) recent wobble on this issue, which it needs to put firmly behind it. Beneficiaries are people, victims of incompetent government and overt discrimination. They need a political champion – someone to stand up for the underdog…