Red Alert continues to get better and better. Beaumont’s latest is one of those powerful stories that deserves to be told, and Red Alert provides the platform. I’m going to be cheeky and reproduce it in full:
Today at a fleamarket in Panmure I spoke to a young couple with a young daughter. The young man had recently been sacked by his employer while he was off on ACC after having an accident. The business he worked for was struggling as so many are and at the point the young man was due to return to work they decided there was no work for him. No redundancy – no job. Maybe there is a legal challenge but the point is there is no job and for this young couple there is no benefit he can receive.
Like many New Zealanders this couple relies on two incomes. The young woman is in paid employment, not well paid but more than $25,000. Her income along with Working for Families is what they will live on until the young man can find another job and we all know how hard finding a job is.
Talking to this couple I felt incredibly angry – angry at the Government who scornfully talked about welfare for millionaires when Phil Goff raised the issue of benefits for people who lose their job and have a partner in paid work, angry that the woman is likely to be earning less than she should be and the Government has dismissed pay equity as unaffordable and closed down the Pay Equity Unit.
The thing about unemployment is it is about people not statistics, and this Government has failed to put in place a plan to support New Zealanders, like the young couple I spoke to this morning, through the recession.
Every day we learn more and more about the pain being caused by unemployment. The Government won’t do anything. Neither will the bosses. They’re too busy feathering their own nests – ripping off taxpayers and workers. The only solution is to keep organising, keep mobilising, so that next time, we can take power back from the bosses’ party.