When I was a beneficiary advocate, I met hundreds of people struggling to make ends meet. Being on a benefit is nothing like a luxury holiday. It means trying to live off as little as $161 a week.
Paula Bennett has announced changes to the benefit system that will force people to reapply for the unemployment benefit after one year, introduce work-testing for solo-parents on the DPB, and make it harder to get sickness and invalids' benefits. But there are no jobs to go to!
Most people who go on a benefit do so to get through a tough time - like losing a job, coping with an illness, or caring for a sick family member - before moving on. People need respect and support at times like this, not blame and punishment.
Catherine Delahunty, Green MP
- recommended - includes video
Send an e-card to the Minister of Agriculture to phase out sow crates immediately as part of the review of the pig code. Send an e-card
One of the most obscure pieces of legislation to hit the House this year. Listen to podcast...
Welfare Bill is pure beneficiary bashing
25 March 2010
The Government has no evidence that its regime of benefit cuts will move anyone from a benefit into work, the Green Party said today. Read more...
Beneficiaries get no love or respect from Paula
23 March 2010
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett needs to stop blaming beneficiaries and start working with them, the Green Party said today. Read more...
The National-led Government is keen to catch up with Australia in many areas, but do they really have to copy Australia's failures?
In 2006, John Howard's Australian Government introduced welfare reforms that were remarkably similar to those proposed by Paula Bennett earlier this week. An evaluation of those reforms (PDF, 2.0MB) was completed in May 2008. It found:
The evaluation results were mixed, providing evidence that Welfare to Work was… Read more...
Privatisation in education legislation - by Catherine Delahunty
The word opposition doesn't always describe Labour's voting patterns. In fact, Labour have voted with National almost exactly as often as the Maori Party, even though Labour is the official opposition, and the Maori Party is actually part of the Government!
[For the political junkies, Labour have voted with National 12 times at first readings, and 16 times at third readings, since the start of this term of Parliament. For the… Read more...
Factory farming reprieve - by frog
Some fantastic news late last night – the companies applying to start factory-style dairy farms in the Mackenzie Country have shelved their effluent consent applications, citing costs.
This is a real victory for the Greens, the environmental movement, and everyone who’s spoken up in opposition to the proposals since we revealed them in December. More than 4,000 people made submissions against the proposals, and a facebook group against them… Read more...