PARTY AMBUSHED ON WELFARE CHANGES
Associate social welfare minister Tariana Turia says the Maori Party did not see details of the welfare reforms before they were announced last week.
Mrs Turia says with many Maori out of work and whanau struggling to cope, it’s not the right time to be overhauling the system. She had no chance to object to measures such as making solo parents look for part time work as soon as their youngest child turns six. ‘They came out and then we asked to see them, they were sent over to us. We didn’t agree with the way they were couched,’ Mrs Turia says.
She was upset by Welfare Minister Paula Bennett’s statement the dream is over for many beneficiaries, as being on a benefit was anything but a dream.
Turia is also saying:
Turia: Time wrong for benefit reform
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says it’s the wrong time in the economic cycle to radically overhaul the benefit system.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett this week unveiled more active management of long-term beneficiaries, rigorous assessment of sickness beneficiaries, and a requirement domestic purposes beneficiaries seek work once their youngest child is six. Mrs Turia, who is Ms Bennett’s associate minister, says it’s a dangerous set of changes.
The Minister and the Associate Minister are at odds. So is this the issue where the Maori Party will draw a line in the sand, rediscover its principles, and finally start representing its people? Ummm – No. Radio NZ reports:
Mrs Turia says as associate minister she will vote for the legislation, but her colleagues might vote against it.
How long can this sort of thing go on? As long as the Nats keep delaying any decision on the foreshore and seabed I guess.