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Pushed off the safety net

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, January 21st, 2013 - 75 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, International, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Welfare is supposed to provide a safety net for those in need. What happens to people when they are pushed off the net? They get desperate. This account from Australia describes a typical outcome:

Single mums turn to brothels and stripping

Some single mothers hit by recent Australian welfare cuts to parenting payments have turned to prostitution and strip clubs in order to keep a roof over their family’s head.

The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments. …

A spokeswoman from a Brisbane brothel told AAP there had been “influx” in applications from single mothers looking for work since the welfare changes came through. She said there had been about 20 applications. … A woman from a St Kilda brothel said she had also noticed a huge increase in single mothers seeking sex work. “It’s sad. They’re doing it to pay their rent,” …

Adelaide single mother Samantha Seymour said a woman she knew of affected by the payment cuts had spoken to a male staffer at Centrelink about her desperate situation. “She told him ‘What am I supposed to do? Turn to prostitution?’ and he replied ‘You have to do what you have to do,” Ms Seymour said.

Here in NZ, of course, the Nats have embarked on a similar cost-saving exercise, chucking people off welfare, and applauding themselves on the results. 12,000 people have been purged from benefit lists, including the unemployment benefit, at time when unemployment is still rising. The question of what then happens to these people has been raised again and again and again – with no answer from National. No doubt NZ will see reports of predictable consequences in due course.

75 comments on “Pushed off the safety net”

  1. pmofnz 1

    Another typical post from one on the left full of blatant innuendo trying to associate ‘those evil Nats’ with rather unsavoury outcomes.

    What is not mentioned is that here in New Zealand, such a possible outcome is legal employment, not a back street operation to be hidden.

    You may not like the outcome, but you’d might do well to be reminded that it was a Labour government that legalised the oldest profession in this country, making it just another job. And in these days of belt tightening, any job is to be valued.

    Try another tactic.

    • Peter 1.1

      Anthony’s main point isn’t to attack prostitution, it’s to point out the nastier edges of Australian policy, and how similar things can and will happen here with unemployment. Although of course, the sex industry works on the same rules of market logic as anything else – willing suppliers, willing buyers. I doubt in recessionary NZ there’s anywhere near as much market for that sort of thing as in Australia.

      We’re still better off though, simply by not criminalising the poor people who make that career choice. Thanks Tim Barnett.

      • Colonial Weka 1.1.1

        “Although of course, the sex industry works on the same rules of market logic as anything else – willing suppliers, willing buyers.”

        Actually, no. To make out that sex work is akin to washing dishes or working the supermarket check out is misleading and unethical. See my point above about sex work not being able to be done by any old person. Sex work requires a certain skill set that not all women/people have.

        • Peter 1.1.1.1

          Of course it requires a certain skill set. So do many highly personal jobs, counselling, care work, medical professions etc. Those jobs can’t generally be done by any old person either.

          Yeah, I don’t like it, not many do, but it is a socially necessary function. Most important thing is keeping the crime and harm out of it.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            Not many people have conscientious objections or an innate abhorrence to working as a doctor, though. And if they were forced by necessity to do so, I suspect that it would also be ethically dicey.

          • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.1.2

            And that justifies that young mothers have to resort to this? What is going on in the minds of people like you? Is this a world of Dickensian reality? Good grief the things people accept so quickly and readily just to make sure they are not getting the shorter straw.
            Lets not forget they said after the war, we already have. These were the last resort “jobs” when no food was available and the kids needed to be fed.

        • geoff 1.1.1.2

          See my point above about sex work not being able to be done by any old person.

          Sex work requires a certain skill set that not all women/people have.

          Absolutely, 60+ yr old prostitutes are physically unable to perform the required tasks due to emaciated skill sets.

        • Fortran 1.1.1.3

          I understand that a prostitute gets above the minimum wage ?

      • Don't worry be happy 1.1.2

        Peter you live a very sheltered life. “Willing suppliers” what garbage.
        Many sex workers are addicts who prostitute themselves to get their next hit. In fact a lot of them would tell you that they have to be high to do the ‘work’.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.2

      Another typical comment from a lying wingnut.

      The Prostitution Reform Act started as a private member’s bill, and was passed by Parliament, not the “Labour government”. It was a “conscience” vote.

      • pmofnz 1.2.1

        No lies there. Hair splitting to the nth degree on your part. Labour was the government when the Act became law.

        • One Tāne Huna 1.2.1.1

          Which makes your first comment a lie. A lie intended to smear. Funnily enough just after you’d accused the OP author of “blatant innuendo trying to associate ‘those evil Nats’ with rather unsavoury outcomes.”

          So, not just a liar, but a hypocrite too. Truly the ethics of the gutter.

          We need better wingnuts.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.2

          Stop digging pm.

          The correct thing to do when the facts are not in your favour is to say something like “oops, I forgot that, fair cop”. That way you present yourself as a mature and reasonable person, capable of admitting mistakes and correcting themselves.

          • pmofnz 1.2.1.2.1

            Fair cop?

            I’d call it rewriting history to suit your narrative.

            • McFlock 1.2.1.2.1.1

              so no nats voted for it then? Good to know.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Maurice Williamson isn’t a Nat? Who knew?

                Rodney Hide and Deborah Coddington must have been Labour MPs back then too.

                Or perhaps this pmofnz is as ignorant of NZ history as the real one.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.2.1.2.1.2

              What’s my narrative, exactly? Oh, yes, that your original comment is a lie.

              What was your response? To adjust and qualify your original comment.

              QED.

    • Colonial Weka 1.3

      AFAIK there are legal sex work options in Australia as well.

      Not all people can do all jobs. Sex work in particular is a job that should be done by people that want to do it and enjoy it, not by people forced into it by nasty, selfish neoliberal govt policy. Of course it is evil to expect any and all poor women to fuck or suck dick for a living if that’s the only recourse made available to them. What planet are you on?

      • QoT 1.3.1

        I agree, CW. I wish we could have a conversation about the lengths people are forced to due to punitive government policy without it immediately becoming ~OMG sex work!!!! It’s dirty and gross and no one ever WANTS to do it!!!!!!~

        See TRP’s comments below, for example.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.3.1.1

          Oooh, I make a comment about sex work on a post about sex work and QoT blows a foo foo valve. If you’re that out of touch with the subject or just don’t give a flying one about the victims of this industry, then that’s sad for you, but it’s not going to change my support for the workers as a result.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      What is not mentioned is that here in New Zealand, such a possible outcome is legal employment, not a back street operation to be hidden.

      It’s not that it’s legal but that it’s a job that they’re being forced to do by this government.

      • Olwyn 1.4.1

        In actual fact I seem to remember from when the law was made that it remained illegal to coerce people into sex work. Which is fair enough. People are not allowed to coerce others into having sex where no money changes hands either. But as RedLogix points out further down, it is hard to identify the point where coercion kicks in. Centre Link or WINZ would argue that their cutting someone’s benefit does not have a direct connection with the choices they make as a result of this, even where alternative choices are non-existent. If a WINZ worker openly told someone that they had to take a job in that field or lose their benefit, then that WINZ worker would be acting illegally, but they would mostly know better than to be so explicit.

        • Mary 1.4.1.1

          Yes, and Work and Income have a clear policy of not being to require anyone to enter the sex industry. However, what’s interesting is that it took a situation where a case manager did in fact take it upon themselves to say to a woman that “now prostitution is no longer illegal we can require to you to become a prostitute”. Work and Income really do employee the best people for the job.

    • Mary 1.5

      “… here in New Zealand, such a possible outcome is legal employment, not a back street operation to be hidden … it was a Labour government that legalised the oldest profession in this country, making it just another job. And in these days of belt tightening, any job is to be valued.”

      So do you think Work and Income should kick women off benefits (or men, for that matter) who refuse to accept employment in the prostitution industry?

      • pmofnz 1.5.1

        Why not?

        Beneficiaries should not be allowed to be picky on offered jobs.

        • The Al1en 1.5.1.1

          “Beneficiaries should not be allowed to be picky on offered jobs.”

          Yes, they should.

        • Colonial Viper 1.5.1.2

          Beneficiaries should not be allowed to be picky on offered jobs.

          People should be able to find work which is fulfilling and satisfying, and which pays a living wage.

        • Colonial Weka 1.5.1.3

          pmofnz, there’s a name for forcing women to have sex.

        • Foreign Waka 1.5.1.4

          Are you for real? Do you really say that a beneficiary is nothing else as a domesticated slave for all as long as the profession is “legal”? Whilst I agree that beneficiaries should be taking up a job when one is offered and within their skill set. But there is certainly a line in the sand as to what is ethically and morally acceptable. Or have these concepts been completely abandoned?

          • McFlock 1.5.1.4.1

            I actually don’t think beneficiaries should be obliged to take up a job.

            Most people want to work, and I think the nation would be better off if more people were in the jobs they were happy to be in, with good people to work with and a task that makes them feel fulfilled.

    • The Al1en 1.6

      “You may not like the outcome, but you’d might do well to be reminded that it was a Labour government that legalised the oldest profession in this country, making it just another job. And in these days of belt tightening, any job is to be valued.”

      You might not like the outcome, but fuck right off.
      When any job is to be valued, even if it means mothers selling sex – That just shows how rancid NZ is getting/gotten.
      An advocate for solo mums to become prostitutes or parade naked for coins and notes. Unless you’re a brothel owner or a punter with a mum fetish, that just makes you a weirdo tory cnut.

      If prostitution and the sex industry have to exist, then sure, regulate it to protect the workers, but as a viable career choice for our young women, I think we can do a lot better for them than that.

      • McFlock 1.6.1

        The thing is that some people might find such work preferable to a 9-5 cubicle farm. Fair enough to them, I say. And the pay can be outstanding, too.

        The problem is if people are not cool with such work, but see no other choice. They are forced into it, and doing work you’re not psychologically or morally suited to is a sure way to get problems down the road.

        • The Al1en 1.6.1.1

          No doubt for some it’s a great job, and if it’s legal, good luck to them them.
          As you write about being forced into it as a last resort, it’s a total fail of the state to provide a safety net.
          Though it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing to say that Women deserve a better option, even if some are happy/content and make a living.
          Their right to do it, my right to wish they didn’t.
          But then I’m a dad to an al1en hybrid eleven year old daughter. I may have a skewed slant on it, which again if viewed as skewed shows how rancid and rotten our parents let the world get for us.

          I don’t like ‘tits on wheels’ down our high streets either.

          • McFlock 1.6.1.1.1

            I agree that people being forced into sex work by hardship is a sign of a state failing to provide a safety net.

            But at the same time I would regard it as a “fail” if people were forced into work that, e.g. has a higher probability of giving them PTSD if they’re not suited to it, like cleaning up crime scenes or whatever.

            Or one story my dad told me about an electrician who acquired a fear of electricity. Shook so much he was a genuine liability. If he needed to keep doing it to support his family, it could have killed him.

      • Foreign Waka 1.6.2

        1++++

    • Richard Down South 1.7

      maybe pmofnz would happily be an escort if they lost their current job

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    There is nothing illegal or imoral with being a sex worker in New Zealand

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Not all sex work is legal and morality rather depends on each individuals point of view, so it is not the absolute you claim it to be. Sex work is dangerous, physically and mentally. It is the last choice for many; an act of desperation. As an industry it is highly exploitative, poorly regulated and, for the most part, not covered by the employment and safety legislation that protects most kiwi workers.

      • pmofnz 2.1.1

        “poorly regulated and, for the most part, not covered by the employment and safety legislation that protects most kiwi workers”

        Absolute lies. The profession is covered by normal employment laws.

        from Wikipedia:
        Employment disputes can be referred to the Labour Inspectorate and Mediation Service. There is an obligation on employers and employees to practise and promote safe sexual practices. The Ministry of Health has the responsibility for enforcement.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1

          lol do you live in fantasy land? Planet Key perhaps?

          Health and safety on street corners looks just fine to delusional wingnut.

          • pmofnz 2.1.1.1.1

            No H&S in the reference – just some locals getting their noses out of joint in a turf war because the out of town competition are obviously better at their game.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1.1

              “No H&S” – yes, that’s my point – there is no health or safety on street corners, thus validating TRP’s statement that sex work is “for the most part, not covered by the employment and safety legislation that protects most kiwi workers.”

              Remember? That’s the point where you started blithering about “absolute lies”.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Thanks, OTH, spot on as usual. As this is an industry that has virtually no wage workers, employment law is largely irrelevant. As ‘contractors’ they are resonsible for their own H&S, paying their own tax, making their own ACC payments, employment protection insurance etc. The Prostitutes’ Collective does great work providing support, but largely, the industry is off the grid.

        • Richard Down South 2.1.1.2

          the mining industry isn’t correctly monitored… you expect the DOL to monitor sex workers?

    • end o times viper shorts 2.2

      that is true

      but there is something wrong with a state that relinquishes its responsibility to its citizens leaving them with few choices but to take work in the sex trade where they’d not consider it otherwise

    • RedLogix 2.3

      If I was forcing women into sex-work through some form of slavery; controlling their freedom to leave, withholding a passport, threats to the family or the like … you would have no difficulty identifying that the power imbalance and the lack of choice for these women was a problem.

      So what’s so different when economic circumstances create a power imbalance and a lack of choice?

      It’s not easy to determine exactly what degree of ‘agency’ is going on here. At one extreme you have obvious sex-slavery and exploitation while at the other end you clearly have other people definitely choosing sex as a profession in a way that they are quite happy with.

      In between there are a bunch of other possibilities of varying shades of exploitation. So while these women in Australia may not have someone physically standing over them when they make that call to the brothel enquiring about work …. hunger and no other better options is a harsh master as well.

    • Colonial Viper 2.4

      There is nothing illegal or imoral with being a sex worker in New Zealand

      So changing government policies to economically force women into sex work is OK?

      Just to save a few dollars of tax for the wealthy?

      I suppose they can then hand over those same extra dollars when they pay for a prostitute or for a lap dance?

    • Foreign Waka 2.5

      No there isn’t but forcing young mothers by otherwise cutting the benefit is – definitely!

  3. Bill 3

    Said it before, but I’ll repeat – I’m come across quite a few people lately who are not signing on because WINZ procedure is viewed as being too much of a bastard to deal with. Consequently they are living by ‘dumpster diving’ for food and sleeping on friend’s couches etc.

    Now, I’ve no doubt the food from the bins is of a reasonable quality and is probably shared around as some form of payment in return for a place to crash and access to hot water and whatever.

    But many bins are padlocked and many more will probably be padlocked in the future. And then there is the fact that the activity is illegal. And what happens to someone of no fixed abode with no income when they get busted?

    • infused 3.1

      They go on WINZ? Oh no, they are too much of ‘bastards’… I’ll eat from a dumpster. Give me a break.

      • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        More like they went to WINZ but have been driven to eating from dumpsters because WINZ put too many barriers up.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          There is nothing immoral or illegal about eating from dumpsters mate /sarc

          • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1.1.1

            Absolutely. Just between you and me, I do out-catering to the National Party: that’s where I get the food they throw at one another.

      • just saying 3.1.2

        Nah, I think you’ve had loads of breaks in your life already.

        What is your theory about the increasing numbers of people who have no paid work yet don’t seek their legal entitlements then infused?

        Maybe you’ve had so many breaks in your life that you just can’t imagine doing it tough.

        • McFlock 3.1.2.1

          It’s national’s brighter future: unemployed non-beneficiaries all eat manna from heaven, and they live in the cosy little cottages trolls build under bridges.

          They just whinge to get handouts from hard-working producers – secretly they all drive audis.

          lol – forgot the trololololl word would put me in moderation. Hans Christian Anderson would roll in his grave :)

          • One Tāne Huna 3.1.2.1.1

            Say goodbye to sub-pontal domestic misery with sly references to the three billy goats Gruff 😉

  4. karol 4

    I was talking to a young mother of a quite young child recently. She had to show WINZ that she was looking for work, but was having difficulty finding anything. Following someone’s suggestions she was looking for packing and/fruit picking jobs, but wasn’t having much success.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of options out there for some young single mothers under pressure from WINZ to find work. Many will end up taking jobs for low pay, that have pretty poor working conditions.

    • Colonial Weka 4.1

      ” Following someone’s suggestions she was looking for packing and/fruit picking jobs, but wasn’t having much success.”

      Probably because orchards are soliciting workers from overseas.

      • Kevin Welsh 4.1.1

        Correct.

        In the next few months here in Hawkes Bay the migrant worker population moving in will be huge, and it is almost exclusively from the Pacific islands.

        The employers like them because not only are they prepared to work long hours for minimum wage, they also get to gouge them on accomodation. What money is left over mainly heads back to family in the islands. They queue’s outside ATM’s on payday are rather large.

      • Fortran 4.1.2

        No as a one time packhouse worker New Zealanders were given priority selection.

        When they often did not turn up for a shift the packhouse managers had to look for other workers.

        Asian female students are excellent workers, who work hard and diligently.

        • fatty 4.1.2.1

          Asian female students are excellent workers, who work hard and diligently.

          That’s a very limited observation of Kiwi vs foreign workers, and it is often used to promote low wages and poor working conditions.
          That’s not to say that generally those points are untrue…but you fail to describe the reasons for this occurring…do you want to have a guess at the reasons why Fortran?…
          Clue: social capital, support networks, current needs vs future needs…also ask yourself why unskilled Kiwi workers are so valued overseas, but seen as lazy in NZ?

          • Fortran 4.1.2.1.1

            The packhouse workers in question were often still stoned still at 8 in the morning at the start of the shift.
            Mostly young males who Winz had put on to the job as they were claimed to be looking for work, and could not find it.
            It was not unusual that one or more after say two/three shifts would create a problem, often of a mechanical nature to the sudden stopping of the packing line, which creates chaos and danger to everybody on the line.
            Out they go back to the dole and Winz, as a physical danger to the rest of the workforce.

            • fatty 4.1.2.1.1.1

              OK…thanks for the story, but you missed my point…I questioned your statement that overseas workers are supposedly better workers, when Kiwi workers in Aussie have quite a good image.

              By the way, regarding your story, do you have some stats to prove that this is the norm?

              Or, if we are just using your story as an objective reality (lol), can you give us some context – Where was this factory? What was the wage? What length of time was the work contract?

    • fatty 4.2

      There doesn’t seem to be a lot of options out there for some young single mothers under pressure from WINZ to find work. Many will end up taking jobs for low pay, that have pretty poor working conditions.

      True…our gendered occupations leave young women as a highly vulnerable group.
      While young women are out performing young men in post-secondary education, for those who are not educationally inclined, moving from school to the workforce presents few opportunities.
      For men that are not educationally inclined, there are apprenticeships available in high paying work…for young women, this is not available to the same extent.
      You can take that exclusion of opportunity and multiply it if the young woman in not Pakeha.
      Historically, good wages have followed male dominated industry, so the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme must become more gender neutral.
      The Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, which was created by the last Labour Government has been a failure and has perpetuated the exclusion faced in the workforce, and exposed the holes in our safety net (our so called safety net is embarrassing enough, without the holes).

  5. outofworkkiwi 5

    Here’s a good article about the new punitive attitude of this government and Winz. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/07/nzwf-j12.html. Some quotes from it:

    “designed to cut costs by restricting access to benefits for tens of thousands of people.”

    “force single parent beneficiaries to look for work once their youngest child turns six.”

    “The Social Assistance (Future Focus) Bill will also require people on unemployment benefits to undergo a “comprehensive work test” every 12 months. Those unable to prove they have been looking for work will face sanctions, including having their benefits halved or cut off entirely.”

    “Paul Blair, a beneficiary advocate from the Rotorua People’s Advocacy Centre, told the New Zealand Herald in April that there was already “a nationwide campaign to kick [people] off the invalid’s benefit”. Blair said Work and Income regional health advisers were ringing doctors and “cross-examining” them about whether their patients were really incapable of working 15 hours a week.”

    My experience, they’re looking for any excuse to cut your benefit.(Any deemed infringement of your duty to conform) (Cut and ask questions later attitude).Then you have a lengthy painful effort ahead to get back on going through a “Review” process, as happened with me. :-( . I was cut off because I was out and didn’t answer phone calls from them with job possibilities, even though there was an answerphone which activated after only 6 rings, they didn’t leave messages! :-(
    I’m complying and am genuinely looking for work but I’m running out of jobs to go for, NZ is only a small place after all, we can’t possibly employ everyone despite 160,000 of the youngest, fittest and brightest leaving elsewhere since Key came into power.

    Another good link here as to teenager’s situation:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/08/nzwe-a26.html

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30264

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/12/28/nzpv-d28.html

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Cheers for the links, kiwi.

      By the way, how good is Paul Blair!? I’ve heard him a few times on the radio; always sharp and to the point, knowlegeable with good anecdotes backed up by solid facts. Bennett must hate him.

  6. outofworkkiwi 6

    Here are some more links as to the Australian situation:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/05/pove-j05.html “Australian government cuts welfare payments to single parents”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/05/ints-j05.html ” Australian dole recipients struggle to survive”
    The end result will be to cement Inequality, deprivation and resentment more firmly into our societies, while the rich sectors of NZ and Australia are having their wealth protected in every way.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/10/pove-o16.html “Report details widespread poverty in Australia”

    • asp viper 6.1

      My God, how terrible it is in Australia……..and under a Labour/Greens govt too!!!!

      What would it be like under Righties???

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Welfare cuts driving truly vulnerable people into the arms of the grey and black economy.

    And don’t forget that too many brothels and strip clubs have ownership links to biker gangs and organised crime, local and international/asian.

    pmofnz you are a creepy little amoral shit.

  8. end o times viper shorts 8

    (cynical media hat on) there’s a great series of Campbell Live stories begging to be told here….

  9. outofworkkiwi 9

    “Proposed Work Tests Are Concerning”
    “One of New Zealand’s leading disability service and advocacy organisation CCS Disability Action is calling on the Government to abandon proposals for UK-style work ability assessments for the disabled.

    The invalid’s benefit is due to be replaced by the supported living payment as part of welfare reforms later this year.

    David Matthews, chief executive of CCS Disability Action, is concerned at the prospect of work assessments mirroring the UK system, which is carried out by contracted providers.

    “According to a speech by the Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, these tests will be based on the work of Professor Sir Mansel Aylward and the tests in the United Kingdom. ”

    Professor Sir Mansel Aylward Who the hell is this Pommie Toff!? Never heard of him before. Are we going to become dickensian like old blighty with the servants downstairs pulling their forelocks to the pampered Toffs? :-( What’s this country coming to!?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1301/S00016/proposed-work-tests-are-concerning.htm

    • GregJ 9.1

      Welsh born physician, Professor and Ex-Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government Department of Work & Pensions between 1996-2005 – Cardiff University Bio here and College of Medicine entry here. – He helped develop the UK Medical Assessment for Incapacity (The “All Work Test”), the Personal Capability Assessment and the “Pathways to Work” initiative for Vocational Rehabilitation and he led the Medical Group on the UK Welfare Reform framework.

      He got a gong from Labour and then a Knighthood from the Tories (perhaps a Blairite “third wayer” now revealing his neo-liberal roots?).

      I think he was in NZ last year (2012) and there was an interview with him in The Listener.

  10. xtasy 10

    THIS is the speech Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Security, held on 26 Sept. last year, announcing a harsher regime for all sick and/or disabled on welfare benefits in NZ:

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals

    THIS is some interesting information that is available via the ACC Forum on Work and Income’s and MSDs “Principal Health Advisor” (in charge of Regional Health Advisors and also Regional Disability Advisors and Health and Disability Coordinators) – Dr David Bratt. He is “fan” of the UK based, staunchly pro-work-ability focused Professor Mansel Aylward, who last year “advised” Paula Bennett on how to bring in stricter work ability tests here in NZ:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/12615-dr-david-bratt/

    THIS is the kind of work capacity test (now in use by Department of Work and Pensions in the UK) that Paula Bennett is apparently looking of intruducing here also (at least in parts):

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

    I offered these links before, but some appear to not have read the articles and information found through clicking these links.

    So the “safety net” will become less of a “safety net” in future, and since the introduction of Future Focus with a “relentless focus on work”, the process has already begun.

    Most certainly, some will end up “working” in prostitution, resort to perhaps drug dealing and to some criminal activities to make ends meet. Others will simply end up homeless or in other misery, and a walk through Auckland’s Queen Street will show you that there are now more homeless than I have ever seen before in this country.

    Bear all this in mind, when another election will come, please!

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    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    3 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    3 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    3 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    4 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    4 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    4 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    5 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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