Probably everyone reading this blog is aware of the Nats’ welfare working group lead by Paula Rebstock. Stacked with right wing extremists its recommendations are, predictably, good old fashioned Tory welfare bashing (see also here, here, here, here). The following is a typical quick summary:
Welfare revamp to push single parents to work
A major review of the welfare state has put forward options that could require the vast majority of sole parents, sick and disabled beneficiaries to look for work.
The review by the Government’s welfare working group chaired by economist Paula Rebstock suggests that as few as 20,000 of the 144,000 sickness and invalid beneficiaries might be exempted from job-search requirements.
Sole parents could be required to look for work when their youngest children turn 3, or even 1 – both much tougher than the requirement introduced two months ago to look for work when their youngest children turn 6. …
The publication of a very different report on welfare will give us all a chance to see the Rebstock group’s punitive ideology in the context of a little real world sanity:
People not on dole by choice – report
Many people are on the dole because of “horrible” incidents in their life and feel vulnerable when portrayed as lazy, a welfare report released today says.
Welfare Justice, established by Caritas, the Anglican Social Justice Commission and the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand in July, released its first report today.
Welfare Justice was established in July following the launch of the Government’s Welfare Working Group as concern grew the latter would demonise beneficiaries.
Chairman Mike O’Brien said today’s report aims at giving beneficiaries the opportunity to become part of the welfare reform debate.
It outlines the views and experiences of over 400 people who participated through written submission and public meetings.
“Many people who spoke or wrote to us were at pains to explain that they had not chosen to be supported by a social security benefit, but that this was a consequence of something horrible happening to their life,” he said.
Beneficiaries felt information in the media were portraying them as lazy or fraudulent, which causes them anxiety and feelings of vulnerability.
People were on the dole because of circumstances such as marital relationships that had turned violent, being a solo-parent, caring for a family member with a disability or being born with a health condition that impairs opportunities for paid work, the report said.
Barriers of employment, included lack of affordable, flexible and quality childcare, the scarcity of family-friendly workplaces, and the lack work opportunities for health impaired people. …
Ominously, the Nats are signalling an “overhall” of welfare as one of their top issues for the next election. I know which welfare report they will be guided by. The wrong one.