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Solo parent bashing

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 28th, 2010 - 97 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, national, welfare - Tags: ,

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: paula.bennettmp@parliament.govt.nz. 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?

97 comments on “Solo parent bashing”

  1. This brings NZ into line with the age of youngest child in Australia (6) and the UK (7 from next month) when part-time work testing applies. The age is still higher than most European countries and the US. It is about changing expectations. Single parents can no longer expect to be supported by the state until their youngest turns 18. Partnered parents have significantly higher employment rates. Calling this change “solo parent bashing” is out of touch.

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      is not understanding the pressure to constantly justify your existence out of touch? is not understanding the stress of having to explain to your children that you can’t provide for them like you were able to before because someone in the local winz office decides you aren’t trying hard enough to get a job out of touch? is not understanding the shame of being forced into being a stripper or worse because there are NO other jobs available out of touch?

      how many working partners do you know who regularly withhold money for bills,food,clothing etc if the mother can’t satisfy him/her that they are trying hard enough?

      your ignorance of the real issues is breathtaking!

      is the govt going to provide help for the women who crack under the pressure? and there will be fallout… or agencies set up to help the children who will bear the brunt of any parental meltdown?

      are the govt making serious plans to create a situation where there would actually be jobs for these people to take up..

    • Vicky32 1.2

      “This brings NZ into line with the age of youngest child in Australia (6) and the UK (7 from next month) when part-time work testing applies.”
      Oh, and that makes it all right, then?
      “Partnered parents have significantly higher employment rates. ”
      Partnered parents have an easier time arranging child care. Partnered parents have resources solo parents don’t have – and even on a very basic level, a mother with a husband, can rely (in most cases) on him to babysit while she works nights, for instance.
      Deb

      • Jo 1.2.1

        Just one point to make here well mabye two…

        1. Partnered parents have higher employment rates because well let me go out on a limb here, because there are two of them enabling them to share the responibilities of caring for the children, giving them the chance to work.

        2. in most cases sole parents are not on the DPB because they want to be but because there is no other way for them at the time to feed and clothe their children.

        It distresses me that some people think that sole parnts have children because the see the dollar signs in the DPB give me a break. and the fact paula bennett has no compassion for those people who are in the same place she was not long ago shows the hiprocracy of her politics.

  2. Is begging in the street a legitimate form of work ?

    Stripping and prostitution is and the sex industry is always on the lookout for quality MILF’s.

    Maybe Paula should get together with Hilary from Act and knock up a pilot programme to start supplying the local brothels.

    • Bored 2.1

      Unfortunately Polly you have blundered on to the National agenda, basically its a mysogenist effort to fuck over women. Especially if they are vulnerable. And at the same time to fuck over their children. And the beastly pricks turn their tawdry heads away so that they cant see the anguish, tears and utter frustration as the so called job market only offers work at the parlour.

  3. Good comment.

    Most of the women who I know who have been on the DPB rely on it as little as possible and are more than happy to get off it into paid benefit. No extra incentive is required. They detest being on the benefit and are more than happy to get off as soon as possible.

    All this policy will do is force women to look for jobs that are not there and face loss of the benefit if their WINZ officer cannot tick the right boxes on the right sheet.

    It is a silly policy becauise the jobs are not there. It is another example of NACT letting their prejudices rather than reality determine policy.

  4. just saying 4

    Wouldn’t go holding your breath waiting for the Labour “opposition” to stand-up for the victims of this cruel and pointless bullying.

    At least solo parents don’t have to wear some kind of uniform to indicate their shameful status.

    Oops, forgot. The frayed, ill-fitting op-shop clothing combined with untreated dental problems and the obvious absence of professional hair-cutting, serves that purpose nicely.

  5. Aron Watson 5

    ….or they could look at cleaning up the ‘unemployed’ first….you no, the ones with free time, no kids, no school holidays every 10 weeks to work around or 7 weeks of xmas holidays, or sick kids etc etc blah blah.
    But hey, Nats are going after a cash grab for there wealthy buddies here, and you DPB parents cost more, so your it!!
    Hey, just think, if they get in for another term, you can kiss welfare goodbye for good. Think of all the money pocketed, er, I mean saved.

  6. ianmac 6

    It would be interesting to see how many people were on the DPB (43,000) for how long. The ones I know of were on it for a few months then found a job on their own as they disliked being on the benefit as micky says. Is it possible that those being targeted is a small group?

  7. prism 7

    ‘Could we hear now instead, please, from someone with an ounce of humanity and compassion?’ And, could be added here, practicality, rationality and respect for parenthood and its responsibilities and difficulties.

    Lindsay quotes what Australia and UK do which is similar to what USA does.. That’s a society with large numbers of people living degraded lives and in poverty. Partnered parents have significantly higher employment rates. Calling this change “solo parent bashing” is out of touch. Stupid, that’s because they can share the duties and responsibilities that fall on the small shoulders of one single parent.

    This is out-of-touch thinking – with today’s reality. Find something better to do why can’t we? Offering young single parents education directed to their needs with a nursery alongside is one that would yield monetary and social benefits and a happier life for a parent and child. It has been done but hasn’t become an integral part of NZ education. Probably because of our lazy, unimaginative, irresponsible, not pragmatic, morally repressive politicians.

    Our puberty rate is going down and sexuality is promoted on all sides and right appearance as being all. Girls will continue to find their self-image through the eyes of appealing to young men, and at an increasingly young age. Time to accept reality and offer training in parenthood and problem solving and assertiveness and in commercially attractive skills. Of course you can become a prostitute now, and this type of crude work-force push without smart support to single parents will surely result in a rise in the selling-yourself-out game.

  8. Ianmac,

    … when the benefit histories of all New Zealand sole parents receiving benefits at June 2008 are examined, half appear to have become parents before age 23, and the median share of time spent on benefits in the previous 10 years (or a shorter period in the case of younger groups) is 83 percent (mean: 72 percent).

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/research/sole-parenting/index.html

    Prism,

    “Stupid, that’s because they can share the duties and responsibilities that fall on the small shoulders of one single parent.”

    The group in question has school age children only. Neither the single nor partnered parent has responsibility for the care of the child during school hours.

    • mcflock 8.1

      “The group in question has school age children only”

      Oh, that’s all right then. The solo parent can fund the child’s holiday care and sick days out of the job which expects them to be available only from 9:15-2:45.

      • Kaplan 8.1.1

        Not to mention, time off for parent teacher meetings, teacher only days, sports day’s etc.
        On top of this the single parent will, after picking up the child from school, assist with home work, prepare the evening meal, do the required house work, vacuuming, laundry etc., prepare the child’s lunch and belongings for the next day, fall in to bed and sleep. Hardly inspiring for a child/parent relationship.

    • rosy 8.2

      And from the same source:
      “It is likely that what distinguishes people who have a high risk of longer-term benefit receipt is an accumulation of disadvantages over their lifetime that combine to increase the likelihood of problems across a number of areas of life in adulthood”.

      So lets not deal with the obvious disadvantage. Just set people up for more failure when they uselessly hunt around for non-existent jobs. It would be more productive in a societal sense to establish requirements and opportunities for parenting programmes and general education, But DPB-educated Paula Bennett is cutting these options.

    • prism 8.3

      Lindsay you sound like a computer, perhaps I should call you Hal which did wonder if it could dream. It seems you don’t. To paraphrase a bit from the bible (which you will be familiar with I think) ‘I asked for help and you gave me statistics’.

      There is more to parenting children than just being physically in charge of them, parents who send their children to boarding school know that. Living simply (poor) on a benefit is marginally easier than being working poor with time-poor lives because of the lack of time for parenting tasks to be fitted in with difficulty if required to work near full-time.

      Now if you could find all solo parents part-time jobs, where the parent could have a work week from 10am through the lunchhour and finish at 1 pm, that would be the best thing for their work experience. As well the beneficiary would be able to keep all the after-tax income, on top of the DPB which would require attending annual parenting workshops to ensure good quality information and role modelling was made accessible. As the children got older, the emphasis would be more on assisting the family afford stable, pleasant accommodation and less DPB benefit with low rate of say 10% of taxation on earnings with grants available for high expenditure items – school uniforms etc. This would encourage an aspirational lifestyle to achieve at school, sport etc. which lessens the likelihood of drifting to negative social behaviours.

      These measures would mean greater financial security for the parent, a role model as a self-supporting, capable individual to the children, and less negative methods of parenting,anti-social teenagers and juvenile adults. That would be good wouldn’t it! Or do you want to drive and punish these awful women (and men) who have not followed the path that you would prescribe them.

      • Bill 8.3.1

        In a world that has gone from an individuals’ income sufficing to support a family, to household income being necessary to support a family and then on to household income having to be used as collateral to accumulate debt in order to support a family… I just don’t see any moral or intellectual foundation to this work ethic (ie ‘get a job’) bullshit any more.

        Especially in relation to single parents.

        How can one person, earning only a proportion of an average income be expected to provide for their family when households struggle to do it?

        • Puddleglum 8.3.1.1

          Exactly – this is heartless crap. It explicitly says they are extending it now to parts of the country where they deem there are no jobs!

          God I’m getting irate tonight – rare for me. I might try it more often.

          • Bill 8.3.1.1.1

            Nah, Puddlegum. It’s worse than that.

            Even if jobs were available, the point is that having a job just doesn’t ‘cut the mustard’…not if you are solo with dependants…and increasingly not even if you are partnered. The whole fiction of ‘working for a living’ is sounding it’s death rattle…you can hear it in the tales of the duel employed who are being sucked beneath the market quicksands of ‘struggle against insolvency’…

            • Colonial Viper 8.3.1.1.1.1

              You work 16 hours a day and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.*

              *Apologies Ernie Ford

    • bbfloyd 8.4

      bullshit semantics don’t rate as relevant comment or considered opinion… i assumed you were simply ignorant,…. now i see you are just bigoted…

    • Vicky32 8.5

      Lindsay, I don’t know if you’ve ever had children (I am assuming not) because you don’t think of the fact that parents do in fact have responsibility for the care of the child during school hours! I was a DPB mother, and I remember being very thankful indeed that I was, when I got a call from the school that my son had fallen off a swing, and broken his front teeth! (Because school dental clinics had been cut back (NACT was in at the time, of course, 1997) I had to spend the next 3 days trying to get treatment for my poor boy..) His long gone father would have been able to do it all in an hour (would probably have got his PA to sort it, from what I know of him..)
      Parents may not, in theory, have to care for their child(ren) in school hours, but they do have responsibility! If the child has an accident, or is ill, or if there’s an epidemic going around – who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters, that’s for sure!

  9. burt 9

    It’s simply not fair that the state can’t be relied upon to pay the cost of looking after my children. When my partner and I decided to have children we thought there would always be a socialist state to take the responsibility of feeding them away from us and tranfer it to the rich pricks. It’s not fair that I might need to take responsibility for them myself – it’s not the socialist way.

    • prism 9.1

      Poor burt – keep trying you might make it big and end up as one of the rich pricks one day.

      • rosy 9.1.1

        Glad the contraception worked perfectly forya then Burt

      • burt 9.1.2

        I sincerely hope that’s not the case. Them filthy RWNJ’s have the opinion that if you breed em you feed em and that’s just so unfair, like since when was providing for children a parents job rather than the state’s responsibility? The fact the kids don’t get three meals a day at state schools is hard enough to deal with, I need to provide their breakfast, lunch and dinner and that takes away from the time I can spend on my bong and my playstation.

        Crikey next thing the bloody National party will be removing WFF and my partner will need to start working more than 20 hours a week to keep the payments up on our new speed boat.

        Besides, how are we supposed to have time for breeding when we are required to get out of bed and go to work after the kids are packed off to school? If the state simply paid for boarding facilities for all school age kids 365 days a year then lushing up on other peoples money would be so much more fun.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1

          I sincerely hope that’s not the case. Them filthy RWNJ’s have the opinion that if you breed em you feed em and that’s just so unfair, like since when was providing for children a parents job rather than the state’s responsibility? The fact the kids don’t get three meals a day at state schools is hard enough to deal with, I need to provide their breakfast, lunch and dinner and that takes away from the time I can spend on my bong and my playstation.

          Never occurs to Righties like you that if the Govt focusses on investing hugely in education, training and jobs, it lifts people up out of poverty, then they will often choose to have fewer children and not have them as young (you can see these stats between the deciles of deprivation) and they will likely be healthier children too.

          Instead, you help keep people poor, take away the ladders which might help them to move up society and them blame them as moral failures for the resulting bad outcomes.

          Psychopathic RWNJs.

          Tens of thousands of NZ children are born into poverty every year, perpetuating a cycle of deprivation and what do you offer to break the cycle? Tax cuts for the rich and billion dollar bail outs for financial speculators.

          NACT is a welfare Government without a doubt, welfare for the wealthy.

          • burt 9.1.2.1.1

            Never occurs to you nanny state lovers that welfare undermines the concept of extended family and that the cost to society of making it easier to pack em off to free childcare vs sending them to their grandparents, uncles and aunties can’t be measured in $/week.

            • rosy 9.1.2.1.1.1

              yeah well when their grandparents are ‘drunken fathers and stupid mothers’ (paraphrasing counting crows) and the aunties and uncles are brought up in the same environment that led to the creation of said child, I’m nor sure that sending it to the extended family is going to solve the problem. And for others grandparents, aunties and uncles could very well be working anyway

              • burt

                Oh right, yes hard to create a homogenised one size fits all society who accept state control when you allow family to have influence in the values of your children.

                • rosy

                  You have no idea Burt. There are many families that are supportive and loving and the influence of these people in the lives of the children in that family are invaluable. I’m congratulate you on being lucky enough have such a family. My siblings and I have created this kind of extended family for our children as well. There are other families where having grandparents and other family members in a child’s life is nothing but abuse and neglect and these people shouldn’t be responsible for child in any way (except, perhaps as an example, when the child is old eough to understand, of how not to be a family). In these instances, for the good of the child, parents need support from ‘outsiders’ .

                  Oh and by the way – as people are having kids older, often the grandparents are also older and possibly less able to care for a child. Maybe you should be looking at your homogenised one-size-fits-all expectations.

                  • burt

                    Suggesting that overall the benefits outweigh the negatives in providing state funded alternatives to extended family involvement in bringing up children is right up there with suggesting the state should have a say in who can have children. It takes a village to raise a child and funding families to live in isolation because it is more convenient than engaging the village is depriving children of cultural capital. Sure there are plenty of cases where extended family are a negative influence and the cultural capital is destructive, but that’s an issue for individual families to deal with and to moderate.

                    I assert it is better for children to see drunken grandparents and understand why that is not a good role model than to simply not see them because it is easier to give influence to unknown people and stick your head in the sand.

                    You have no idea Burt… well I was raised in a solo parent family before child support days and there was never any ‘child support’ paid. My mother worked three jobs and we frequently stayed with extended family. My case was one end of the spectrum and I wouldn’t actuall wish it on anyone – but the answer to cases like mine is not to simply make it easier for all to disengage from rather than manage the influence of family. Family is what we are – the state is on a slippery slope making it easy for all to negate the role of extended family via welfare.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh Burt’s argument is now that welfare destroys families.

                      But welfare for the wealthy is good for wealthy families?

                      :I assert it is better for children to see drunken grandparents and understand why that is not a good role model

                      And how will they come to that understanding? And will that understanding help the kids live through the years of neglect that they will have to tolerate while they learn your moral lesson?

                    • rosy

                      enabling families to engage with other families is what reduces isolation. Remaining only within dysfunctional families increases dysfunction. Which family members are going to point out to the child that wha they are seeing is wrong if all are engaging in that behaviour? Outside influences are incredibly important otherwise you’re perpetuating disadvantage. I too grew up in a solo parent environment – after years of physical and mental abuse my mother finally lost the plot and we were left to bring ourselves up while our father worked and drank. The extended family were nowhere to be seen. Enlightened mentors, teachers and examples of functional families in wider social settings – some awesome people in less judgemental days – made the difference. It is absolutely not good, nor safe, for a child to be taught a ‘lesson’ through exposure to these negative role models.

                    • burt

                      Colon Viper …

                      Crossing roads is dangerous for them as well. Let me guess – we should lock them up rather than risk them getting run over.

                      Little ones you hold their hand when they cross the road as part of teaching them – but that’s silly right because that fails to show them they need to do it on their own.

                      Can you send me some cotton wool please and the phone number for nanny – I’ve been calling “0800-state-owned-children” but it just rings out… is it a waiting list problem perhaps ?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Burt glad you take the fact we have 400 or so young adults and children killed every year due to accident/injury in NZ so seriously.

                      No we can’t wrap them up in cotton wool, nor do we want to. Getting up in the morning has its own risks.

                      But neither do we have to follow your asanine point of view of forcing children to stay in at risk, deliberately increasingly deprived environments so they can learn your moralising Right wing lessons.

                    • burt

                      Rosy

                      In my extended family I have a few born again Christians and I won’t let my children stay with them because as soon as I leave them there they get sat down to watch religious DVD’s and get bible stories shoved down their throats. Some would say this is the best thing they could be exposed to – I don’t. But then I’m not one for one size fits all so I manage the extended family and friends that have influence over them – just like parents have been doing for generations.

                      But my kids know that these family members have these views and they have seen it from day one – should I order counselling for this abuse they have suffered ?

            • Vicky32 9.1.2.1.1.2

              Oh Burt, I couldn’t answer all your sh*te, there simply isn’t time – just one thing – “and that the cost to society of making it easier to pack em off to free childcare vs sending them to their grandparents, uncles and aunties can’t be measured in $/week.”
              You seem to have a picture in your head of solo parents, as prolly fecund prolly brown people with huge extended families… Don’t be such a cliche-head!
              There are solo parents who don’t have parents, aunties or uncles! I not only have known such, I was one…(My parents were immigrants who died when we were all very young.)

    • Bored 9.2

      Hey Burt, you dont have to come here proving you are a heartless cretin every time you post something. So fucking smug.

      • rosy 9.2.1

        “But my kids know that these family members have these views and they have seen it from day one – should I order counselling for this abuse they have suffered ?”

        I duno Burt. Your call. But if the friends sexually abused them because the parents were to drunk to notice what was going on, or the kids were beating each other to a pulp because that’s the way things got dealt with, or the kitchen catches fire because the 10 year-old is trying to cook because there’s no-one else there to do it then maybe you should.

        You remind me of the woman who walked out of a screening of ‘once were warriors’ because she didn’t like people making that stuff up.

        • burt 9.2.1.1

          And you remind me of the people who wouldn’t let their kids see it because they thought it better the kids didn’t know that existed.

    • NickS 9.3

      Lawl.

      The tax payer already pays for a good deal of child-care burt, in the form of schooling, lower doctor costs, free immunisation, cheap dental care and the all important ACC stuff, along with various other services to deal with any interesting variations sexual reproduction throws up along the way. Not that it’s perfect mind you, but then again you need a fairly high level of income to DIY it completely.

      The rest has always been up to you. Even in malformed workers states.

    • Bill 9.4

      Ah Burt. Even if we allow for your strange take of a so-called ‘socialist state’ (an oxymoron if ever there was one), as I pointed out here, it’s becoming ever more difficult to achieve personal responsibility through participating in the market.

      What’s your solution?

      • burt 9.4.1

        Firstly, a big portion of the issue is associated with expectations Bill. People with 5 kids looking out their window and noticing the couple next door with no kids unloading another massive big screen TV out of the back of their new Merc …. ‘Why can’t we have a big screen TV like the rich pricks next door…. That’s the second big screen they have and there is only two of them…..

        This is the consequence of socialism picking winners and losers to create some socially engineered “normal life style” via redistribution.

        The WFF TV ads were bang on the nail – the state is here to makes sure that you can live in a $700,000 house, have new iPods and can afford to txt each other across the room – any why not – some people can afford all the latest toys and to be wasteful with their resources so why not take some money off them and let others enjoy the same lifestyle… Social engineering even with the best intentions has consequences.

        The solution as I see it is to have welfare and taxes considered independently. IE: there is a minimum standard of living, a minimum social wage if you want to call it that, which every ‘adult’ gets. What people earn over and above that is what makes them able to afford more luxury rather than having the state set expectations of lifestyle and fund it by picking the winners and losers to create a socially engineered ‘norm’ rather than just provide for the true needy.

        Assuming that welfare is set at a level to eliminate ‘real poverty’ because that is IMHO what welfare is for – why should the state say that a couple with no children must have more of their own money taken off them so it can be given to a couple with lots of children because their lifestyle is not as “financially” good as the childless couple. Or would you say that kind of redistribution is good social engineering because the intent is good?

        • Bill 9.4.1.1

          Okay Burt.

          I don’t want a big screen TV. Or children. And I don’t want an i-pod either. And I don’t want a car. And I don’t want to ‘own’ this house I live in….or any other house. And I don’t want 99% of any of the rest of the whole pile of consumerist shit that is touted as being worth while whoring one’s life for.

          I’d be more than happy to have a ” minimum standard of living, a minimum social wage if you want to call it that, which every ‘adult’ gets” and be left the fuck alone instead of being constantly harassed by state agencies hell bent on forcing me to adhere to the market orthodoxies of having a job and ‘getting ahead’…

          What-ya-say? You fighting my corner any time soon?

          • Draco T Bastard 9.4.1.1.1

            …as being worth while whoring one’s life for.

            Which is about the best description I think I’ve read of going out and working to make someone else rich and yet that is exactly what NACT want.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.5

      Jeez burt, your comments become more nonsensical every day.

      • burt 9.5.1

        So the concept that welfare isn’t something we use to make everyone equal – rather it is something to protect the most needy – is too hard for you ? Or is it just that you can see the Labour party never getting elected without leverage from the policies of envy?

        • rosy 9.5.1.1

          and kids in dangerous families aren’t needy are they Burt?

          • burt 9.5.1.1.1

            You make a good point though, rOb just looks at the cash side of the equation and screams “National Bad” because status quo is rOb’s big thing that must never be changed.

        • burt 9.5.1.2

          Apart from intervention at the level of removing children from dangerous circumstances perhaps you could tell me how risk is factored into welfare assistance for solo parents ?

          • rosy 9.5.1.2.1

            As you implied in an earlier exchange, I’m probably a wee bit risk-averse, so a fence at the top of the cliff is more my thing than an ambulance at the bottom. Although the welfare system is far from perfect, it’s much better IMHO to support families than have them fall back on dangerous families, or take them from those parents who are trying their best, but don’t have the skills they need. Education, training, healthcare, oh and childcare and positive role modelling are all essential. But of course this is what we vote on every 3 years.

            • burt 9.5.1.2.1.1

              I agree with you, and rOb to some degree, on the intentions of providing an environment where solo parents can exists entirely on the state till their youngest at home child is 18. However as long as there are people working for little more (or perhaps less after deducting work related expenses eg; transport) than people sitting at home – we have a few significant consequences which we don’t seem to deal with very well.

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re not trying to tar the many by blaming the few, yeah? I mean 18, get serious mate so we can take you seriously. 14 is the legal age a child can stay home alone and that seems pretty sensible to me: once the oldest child reaches 14, that child can supervise any younger children who may be around.

                However as long as there are people working for little more (or perhaps less after deducting work related expenses eg; transport) than people sitting at home – we have a few significant consequences which we don’t seem to deal with very well.

                So the obvious answer is to raise the wages of those low income workers, isn’t it?

                I mean, that would be a far better option than continuing to keep workers’ wages supressed and cutting minimal benefits even further, right?

              • Jum

                ‘sitting’ at home.

                that says it all about the ignorance of anyone’s view that considers solo parents just SIT at home.

        • Colonial Viper 9.5.1.3

          A heavily progressive tax system is what we use to reduce inequality in society Burt, not welfare.

          • burt 9.5.1.3.1

            So is that tax anyone earning more than a beneficiary heavily to reduce the inequity between beneficiaries and low income earners OR tax the middle income earners heavily to blur the distinction between low and middle earners OR is it heavily tax the rich pricks to blur the distinction between middle earners and the rich pricks OR any/some/all of the above depending on the current vote winning mix of social engineering settings ?

            • Colonial Viper 9.5.1.3.1.1

              Nah none of the above, its to create funding for initiatives which help encourage, support and push more people into the high income brackets. Everything from education initiatives, exporter assistance to R&D funding.

              i.e. return on investment is what we want to see with those extra tax dollars.

  10. B 10

    This legislation does bring us into line with most other countries – but one only has to look at the results to see that unless requirements to work are accompanied by generous and comprehensive support, the social consequences are devastating.

  11. john 11

    There aren’t the jobs out there conclusion! Cruel harassment of vulnerable people while those already rich get more free gratis:? class warfare. What can you expect from the rich prick who made his money manipulating currency and kiwis have bought him as a leader for god’s sake!

    • john 11.1

      Declaration of non prejudice

      I am sure 100% that John Key as a person is probably one of the nicest people you could meet and you’d love to count him as a friend. (I’m not Gay!)

      It’s his class position and politics and disrespect for democracy I don’t like. So not personal to him!

  12. NickS 12

    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.

    Ah, I see WINZ policy staffers have been at the LSD again /tut-tut

    • burt 12.1

      It was put in the water coolers during the Labour administration to make sure people never connected the dots that although the official ‘unemployment’ stats were at a record low the total welfare spend was still increasing faster than inflation.

      • NickS 12.1.1

        Yeah, because the last National government did not gut welfare spending and services at all, nor did later research indicate that there were holes in welfare programs that needed to be fixed, and in no way did the Consumer Price Index go up at all in the last 9 years /roll-eyes

        There’s this wonderfully intricate thing called reality burt, in future please pay attention to it properly, instead of ignoring the bits that get in the way of your beliefs. Indeed, you may also want to learn about this concept called “empiricism” and the methodology known as “science” in all their depths.

  13. Treetop 13

    I want to ask the moron who came up with the policy of single parents on the DPB being available for work once their youngest child attains the age of six:
    How many single parents in the above group quailfy for an invalid or sickness benefit?
    What family support does the above group have?
    Does the above group have reliable transport?
    What is the status of a single parent’s youngest child’s health over the age of six?
    What is the government doing to find jobs for the 60,000 unemployed?
    Is employing a single parent a priority to employing a person without dependent children?
    What is the government going to do when a single parent is pushed out to work and their child is sexually violated due to the child not being in the parent’s care?

    All of these questions are important as they automatically affect the dynamic of single parents and their children regrding the new WINZ policy.

  14. B 14

    On a positive note – winz is implementing this on a case by case basis-people can apply for exemptions. So if for example you are studying full time, you wont be required to work.

    • Treetop 14.1

      B, I just hope that the Training Incentive Allowance has not been taken away for NZQA level 1 – 3. I also note that for sickness and invalid benefit medical certificate, the GP has to state what a person can do and not what they cannot do. Not sure if their is a medical component for the DPB, there needs to be one if there is not.

      Any single parent who is well enough to work and who has child care back up is usually working at least part time. No point in ruffling up the feathers of single parents as secondary problems occur, low self esteem/depression/anger and who may this be directed at? A child who already has lost the support of a two parent family living under the same roof.

      • rosy 14.1.1

        Riiight, so it’s all spin then? because, yep, Treetop, good point, most work-ready parents are probably working or looking for jobs. I wouldn’t put it past Nact.

  15. KJT 15

    What is the economic benefit of forcing solo parents into work.
    Where are the reasonable part time jobs, or is this another effort by the Government to make staff cheaper for fast food outlets.

    Here is a good idea?
    Lots of jobs for solo parents looking after the kids of other working solo parents. Lets pay lots of money in childcare subsidies and welfare staff hours so parents can go to work to pay childcare.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Its worth exploring KJT.

      You can see that National thinks extremely short term.

      The fact that a child only has one parent now, but National want to reduce that child’s access to that one remaining parent.

      How do they think that child is now going to fare? Is that child now going to have the best chance at life and at contributing to society?

  16. Treetop 16

    Why is unpaid work not valued?

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      And why isn’t having a parent at home fulltime valued?

      Well it may be because the Righties don’t value anything which they can’t price up and sell.

      • Treetop 16.1.2

        The word DISCONNECTED is applied to the new WINZ policly for the single parents work test.
        WINZ will disconnect you from your child/children.
        WINZ will disconnect you from any unpaid work you do in the community.
        WINZ will expect you to do outside home care without a car.
        WINZ will expect you to find child care when your child is sick or a teachers strike
        WINZ will expect your employer to alllow you time off to take your child to the GP.
        WINZ will expect you to supply a medical for a day off work.

        • rosy 16.1.2.1

          And they’ll be employed under the 90-day law so will get all that sorted and then get sacked because they WILL have to take a dy off work for a sick kid who is not allowed in daycare due to this :-p

  17. Treetop 17

    It is going to be rather stressful if a single parent works part time and qualifies for part or all of the $100 abatement and needs to see a case manager ASAP. Uneven worked hours are costly in time for WINZ to administer. Will a food grant be offered if a days pay is lost as the criteria is an immediate need and an unforeseen circumstance?

    Really good comments by all.

  18. No wonder we have the highest child abuse statistics in the Western World. New Zealand deserves what’s coming to it !

    • rosy 18.1

      That’s a bit vicious isn’t it? Sounds like you actually want kids to be abused to prove your point.

      • dad4justice 18.1.1

        rosy – don’t be silly, my point was that our children should have the best possible nurturing years. I am only stating our appalling child abuse figures, to which no government seems to have any answers for such an insidious problem. On another matter, why is the DPB not fit for 16 and 17 years old mums? Seems pro abortion to me.

        • rosy 18.1.1.1

          Fair enough, they are appalling. Hence my tirade with Burt. I didn’t know 16 & 17 yo couldn’t get the DPB – I would have been wrecked back in the day when I was contemplating what to do at 15.

  19. Jum 19

    I once spent some months reducing a client’s credit debt to a fraction of her outstandings and do you know what she said to me; I’ll be voting for National; they’ll change my world. What a joke. I wonder how she’s coping now. I know she’s a hard worker, as are most. The reason why she became a solo parent was relationship-oriented and perfectly understandable. National, however, will be blaming her for daring to leave her relationship.

    Do I have any sympathy for her; that’s a moot point. What I do know is that I worked on her case because Labour were in government and I believed in people being what counted in this world. I left when National were a shoo-in because of NZers inability to see through NAct’s hype.

    Like I said, I wonder how she’s coping now…as the new Jew…

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Lots of lessons here. Like people buy the sizzle, not the sausage. And National has the best PR and image people around.

      Also that Labour has done a shite job of communicating what they are actually about and what they actually stand for.

      I know a couple of young civil servant mates who voted National last time around. These guys are supposedly smart educated types. Now they are fearing for their jobs and eyeing up a hollowed out job market.

  20. Jum 20

    What! You let D4J back on: Okay, I suggest children should be left with Dads if parents separate. Dads will not be allowed to leave their children unless it is to work in soul-destroying jobs at 3/4 same wage as paid men. These men must be demonised as the new Jews of NZ and if they dare to look as if they are enjoying life with their children without a husband, they should be chastised by women and men.

    Like that’s going to happen!

    ‘Clipped’ anyone around the sensitive part of the ear lately, D4J?

    [lprent: there aren’t too many people that get a really permanent ban ( although I can do them with some effort ). If people don’t attract my notice and I can’t remember reasonably recent bad behavior, then as a good BOFH, I simply ignore them as a normal luser when moderating until they do something that I notice. I expend effort on exterminating bad behaviour.

    Some of the other moderators may see things differently and it only takes one to exclude. ]

  21. wind 21

    No doubt welfare system is designed to help people who are in need, majority of kiwis are happy to help out people who are at difficult times. Kiwis deserve to dream their dreams high, remember education is a key to help people reaching their goals. Offering a helping hand to people in need, but more importantly is to provide opportunities for people to see a better future for themselves.

  22. Kleefer 22

    How is “socialist state” an oxymoron? Socialism requires an all-powerful police state to stop people circumventing the socialism through the black market.

  23. MrSmith 23

    Perhaps the government are thinking of retraining them all all as teachers. The pays about the same and the hours would work out just fine.

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