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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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    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    18 hours ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    2 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    2 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    3 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    3 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    3 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    5 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    6 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    6 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    7 days ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    7 days ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    7 days ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    7 days ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    7 days ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    7 days ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers at sea over overseas buyers register
    The Prime Minister and three of his ministers are at odds over the collection of information about offshore speculators buying our houses and seem to be making things up as they go, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “John Key… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine
    With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy… ...
    1 week ago
  • Botched contract leads to charter school rort
    A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed system costs $3 million and counting
    New figures obtained* by Labour show the Government’s shambolic ACC car registration levy system has cost more than $3 million to implement and the costs are set to escalate, Labour's ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “That’s $3 million that could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Radio NZ facing death by 1000 cuts
    The National Government’s seven year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has put its vital public broadcasting services in serious jeopardy, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says. "The axing of 20 jobs at our only publicly funded broadcaster shows the… ...
    2 weeks ago

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