The 'work sets you free' welfare reforms
Bombshell on way for beneficiaries
About 300,000 welfare beneficiaries who are judged to be capable of work will face a day of reckoning tomorrow when the Government receives a report that recommends they be forced to look for jobs.
So it's here, the much despised ideologically stacked welfare razor gang are to release their 'Work sets you free' report today in the same week John Key splurges $6 million on his arse massaging BMW luxury. The call to force the sick, the solo mothers, the mentally unwell and the handicapped back to work all comes as our Prime Minister is telling those in poverty that if they are requiring food parcels, then it isn't his Governmnets failed economic stewardship that has brought about a double dip recession and 6.8% unemployment, oh no, it is 'their' poor choices.
John Key reminds me of the Herman Melville quote..
"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well housed, well warmed and well fed."
We knew the cuts for the most vulnerable were going to be deep. Look at the people selected to be on the ideologically stacked welfare razor gang to give Paula the answers she wants. Former ACT Party President Catherine Isaac, privatized welfare advocates Adrian Roberts and Enid Ratahi Pryor and let's not forget their appointed researcher 'Professor' Peter Saunders who connects class with intelligence and who in his down time writes Islamaphobic fiction whom Paula embarrassingly confused with another Professor with the same name who holds diametrically opposite opinions.
We knew the cuts for the most vulnerable were going to be deep because when our disconnected from reality Optimist Prime wasn't telling poor people that their need for food parcels was their own fault, he was telling church leaders “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”
We knew the cuts for the most vulnerable would be deep because the so called 'turbo charge' from the GST tax rise to give rich people a tax cut had in fact dampened the economy and caused a $2 billion deficit which Bill English promised would be make up with deep cuts to Welfare.
We knew all that, but it still didn't prepare us for the sheer radicalized scope of what is being suggested by forcing so many sick, handicapped, solo parent and mentally unwell NZers back into the 6.8% unemployment labour force. Almost 30% are to be forced back into work when there is no work. This goal would be laughable if the realities of such sweeping cut backs weren't so extreme for those impacted.
I find it the most disgusting of ethical molestations that the weakest and most vulnerable in society are being asked to do with less because the global economy was crashed by the greedy and corrupt.
Sadly nothing excites raw meat NZ like a bit of good old fashioned bennie bashing. Next to rugby, alcoholism and domestic abuse, bashing solo mothers is a national cultural institute. This welfare review has had nothing to do with the reality of improving the situation for those on welfare, it has had nothing to do with how we empower beneficiaries to enjoy the full autonomy of the democratic franchise, it's narrow myopic vision has been to find a way to simply throw as many off welfare no matter the consequence. As the brilliant Gordon Campbell at scoop.co.nz points out in his 'Ten Myths About Welfare'...
A long list of relevant issues have not been part of the WWG agenda. So far, the WWG’s investigations have not involved any substantial analysis of :
(a) the extent of poverty among beneficiaries and low income workers and its effects
(b) whether benefit levels can sustain basic living standards vis a vis rising costs, and the related health outcomes, particularly among children.
(c) the cost and optimum form of work and training schemes for the young unemployed.
(d) the availability and affordability of childcare, region by region
(e) the global recession’s impact on the job market
(f) the adequacy of the government’s current job creation policy.
(g) the job outcomes attributable to the government’s stimulus policy during the recession.
(h) changing social attitude to marriage breakdown and divorce, and the implications for DPB figures.
(i) the social and economic value – including opportunity cost – of parenting carried out by DPB recipients
(j) the net cost of work schemes as opposed to the health costs and law and order costs that are unemployment -related
(k) the extent to which demographic factors such as the ageing population are being reflected in the sickness and invalid benefit numbers…etc etc.
This counter productive and spiteful forcing of the most vulnerable to work when there is no work for them makes me feel like I've woken up at a cross burning redneck rally in a land governed by the wrong white crowd.
When it comes to welfare, all stick and no carrot makes little Johnny a prison statistic.