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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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    1 day ago
  • Fairfax can’t use restructure to cut terms and conditions
    The restructure and upheavals at Fairfax should not be used as an opportunity to cut journalists’ terms and conditions, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Businesses have to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands and there is… ...
    1 day ago
  • McCully excuses unravel in Saudi sheep scandal
    Murray McCully has misled New Zealanders, Parliament and his Cabinet colleagues on the real reasons for paying millions of dollars in the Saudi sheep scandal – it’s time for him to clean, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David… ...
    1 day ago
  • Nats break health and education spending promises
    National has outstanding promises of almost $1 billion to be spent on health, education and agriculture from the Future Investment Fund but has only $536 million left in the fund, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “John Key and Bill… ...
    1 day ago
  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    1 day ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    1 day ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 day ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    1 day ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    1 day ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    2 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    2 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    2 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    2 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    3 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    3 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    3 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    3 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    3 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    4 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    4 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    6 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 week ago

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