web analytics

National’s cynical attack on disabled workers

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, October 10th, 2007 - 7 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

History tells us the Nats will use any excuse they can to undermine people’s work rights, but this is low even for them. Desperate for an angle to oppose the extension of minimum wage rights to disabled workers, National hit on an idea: argue that paying disabled workers the legal minimum is actually bad for them and is strongly opposed by their families. Better yet, quote the IHC in support of your position too. Here’s what National MP Paul Hutchison had to say on Friday:

“The effect of this legislation is to ensure people with disabilities are paid the minimum wage, but this is impossible for many non-profit IHC businesses.

“The legislation allows workers who are significantly limited in their work because of a disability to be issued with a minimum wage exemption, but the IHC is not supporting this.

Dr Hutchison cites the example of Taupo Ironing, an IHC-run business which has been severely affected by the legislation…

“It is going to cause widespread distress for many families.”

But the IHC’s release yesterday tells a different story:

IHC New Zealand strongly supports the repeal of Disabled Persons Employment Promotion (DPEP) Act because it gives workers with intellectual disabilities equal rights in the workplace.

IHC’s Director of Advocacy Trish Grant says that IHC supports inclusive workplaces. “The sheltered workshops of old saw people with intellectual disabilities kept separate from communities.”

“IHC Advocacy has talked to thousands of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and they have told us consistently that they want opportunities for real work and they want real pay for the work they do.”

So let’s get this straight: not only did National get completely the wrong end of the stick, they also misrepresented the IHC’s position in order to further their own political agenda. Did National even bother talking to the IHC or the families of disabled workers before deciding to use them to score political points?

This kind of behaviour comes across as more than a little cynical, and gives the impression of a party more interested in helping its wealthy backers to employ cheap labour than it is in protecting the rights of disabled workers.

Because if National aren’t acting for disabled workers and their families on this issue, who exactly are they acting for?

7 comments on “National’s cynical attack on disabled workers ”

  1. all_your_base 1

    That’s f*&#ing disgraceful. I hope they’re ashamed.

  2. Robinson 2

    Yeah the nats voted against removing youth rates as well – I’m glad to see they’re consistent in their fight for people’s freedom to work for as low a wage as they want.

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    “Did National even bother talking to the IHC or the families of disabled workers before deciding to use them to score political points?”

    why do you need to talk to experts when you know you’re right?

    Its part of this typical arrogance from the right – ask the experts? no! they’re all liberal loonies. Just last night, I saw Roger Kerr at a BizRoundtable forum answering a question on the role of public policy in tackling climate change, after some opening blah, blah he, inevitably, said ‘we have to ask how solid the science is..’ people in the audience actually sighed and others laughed. Who does this prick think he is? 15 years after the frameowrk convention on climate change, 15 years of ever more dire IPCC reports and this born to rule bastard feels he can throw that all aside if it doesn’t fit his ideology.

    Sorry, bit of point but its the same mentality over disabled workers’ wages, National hates higher pay for workers, so it makes up this stupid story about IHC and disabled people not wanting decent pay and doesn’t actually askanyone.

  4. Shane 4

    This a shocker and just one example of National attacking worker’s rights.
    A tax cut under National is no good to me if they are attacking my work rights at the same time.
    Makes me laugh when they highlight how many Kiwis are moving to Australia for better wages. Their employment policy will simply exacerbate the problem.

  5. Nih 5

    You have to admit, it’s a much softer stance than Redbaiter and his national-supporting mate Adolph Finkelstein wanting to gas them.

  6. Thomas 6

    that was really funny

  7. Benodic 7

    What I want to know is why Labour didn’t pounce on this and show National’s disgraceful attack for what it was. National’s record on this kind of thing is shocking, but they never get pulled up on it. Why is that?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    1 day ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago