It is the Nats’ belief that those on a benefit have fewer human rights than the rest of us. They can simply be told what to do. Here’s the latest example:
Benefits may be linked to kids’ jabs
The Government is considering requiring beneficiaries to immunise their children.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told the Herald: “We see immunisations as important so when you’re looking at those kinds of things, you question at what point should a social obligation be part of a requirement to get a benefit.
“Ministers have not made a decision on it, but it is certainly something we are discussing.”
Reluctant as I am start the dreaded vaccination debate here on The Standard, there doesn’t seem to be any way of avoiding it in this post, so I’ll state my view up front. In my opinion vaccination should not be compulsory for anyone. The issue of vaccination is much more complicated than the medical industry would have us believe. Historically the benefits of vaccination have been far, far less than the benefits of improved sanitation and nutrition. There have been cases of notable vaccination success, but also of failure. There are real risks, unfortunately these have been both downplayed and exaggerated by the respective sides of the debate, making it difficult to accurately assess them. A case can certainly be made that vaccination is not necessary for a healthy child in a healthy environment, and that a stronger immune system emerges if it develops naturally (without intervention). In short it’s a very complex issue, and not one where I think any parent should be compelled.
Furthermore, while I accept that the proponents of compulsory vaccination mean well, they aren’t addressing the real issue for children’s health, which is poverty:
Report reveals NZ’s child poverty
More than 100 New Zealand children who died last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic, a new documentary shows.
In Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report, set to air this week, Wellington documentary maker Bryan Bruce shows a Swedish doctor footage of sick, scab-ridden schoolchildren suffering from preventable diseases in Porirua and asks if he saw similar situations in his country.
The doctor shakes his head: “In the 70s, maybe.”
Last year, more than 25,000 children were admitted to hospital for respiratory infections. Doctors routinely treat cases of rheumatic fever and scabies – diseases now rare in Europe.
The reason behind these preventable diseases were appalling rates of child poverty that New Zealand could not afford to ignore, Mr Bruce said.
So called “third world” disease are reappearing in NZ not because of a lack of vaccination, but because of poverty. If you want to fix the symptom, fix the cause. Never mind compulsion for beneficiaries. Raise the benefits. The last Labour government should have done it. The next one must.