Life isn’t hard enough already for solo parents, according to the Nats. So they’re going to make it harder:
Govt sends solo parents back to work
Woah! OK – stop right there. Anyone else spot the problem yet?
From today, the Government will be forcing solo parents it deems “work ready” to find work, or risk losing their benefit. There are currently around 43,000 solo parents on a Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) with no children under the age of six, and under the new ‘Future Focus’ law, they will be legally obliged to seek employment. The Government calls it “voluntary proactive engagement” …
“Voluntary proactive engagement”. Doubleplusgood.
Originally the new law was only going to be enforced in areas deemed to have jobs available, but this is no longer the case. “We are working with these clients across the whole country,” WINZ spokeswoman Zoe Griffiths told the New Zealand Herald.
And there we have it. This narrow minded, punitive, solo parent bashing arse of a piece of so-called law has just crawled up its own fundus and died. With unemployment running at over 6%, the Nats want to make solo parents responsible for their own failure to create jobs. No matter where they are, no matter if the jobs are there or not, solo parents will “risk losing their benefit”.
“It’s a big change, and for some people it will be scary,” says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, who herself was once received the DPB. “But I do not accept this is a reason not to do it.”
Thus spake Paula Bennet ladies and gentlemen, that’s: firstname.lastname@example.org. Could we hear now instead, please, from someone with an ounce of humanity and compassion?:
“This punitive change to welfare law is an attack on the underlying principle that welfare is the provision of assistance to all New Zealanders in their time of need,” says Kay Brereton, advocacy coordinator at the Wellington People’s Centre. “The changes add sole parents with their youngest child older than six, to the 60,000-plus unemployed who face sanctions on their benefits if Work and Income doesn’t think they are trying hard enough to find jobs.”
Sanctions on their already minimal benefits. I guess their kids were just asking for it, right?