Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Waitemata Unite confronts Paula Bennett

Waitemata Unite and supporters came to a public meeting with Paula Bennet, held at the Fickling Centre tonight.We wanted to challenge her about National's anti-beneficiary policies.
This was tricky because Bennett was all sweetness and light and presented her policies as caring and helping towards beneficiaries,when they obviously weren't as one of our members pointed out at the meeting.

She promised that no benefit would be cut, (without admitting that they had already been cut, disguised within the slight rise supposed to combat the GST rise.)
The GST rise was rightly described as a tax increase for beneficiaries by a member of the audience, alongside the massive tax cuts for the rich.
She was asked why National had abolished the Training Incentive allowance,and what about the special needs of some families for parents to stay with their children at home after age six. She smoothly assured us that these needs would be taken into account.
An audience member asked whether the government was using the welfare working group to test out extreme policy ideas, like US style workfare or Canadian Benefit Insurance, to test the public reaction, and back off if necessary.

Another audience member asked her how she could cut the TIA when she herself had benefited from it. She said that was 16 years ago, and that there is no interest on student loans now. Watch this space. Key has been recently complaining about what a bad investment these loans are. Others who had disabilities asked Paula about whether WINZ was going to improve its treatment of them.

Paula went on at length about the skills training that National now offered to help some people get back into the workforce; instead of the TIA. National and its employer friends want quickly- trained low paid workers, not people who study for years to get a university educations, question society and demand higher wages.

She also went on at length about CYFS programmes for young children who had been abused or neglected by their parents. While any pilots in this direction are a good thing; she made no mention of the economic causes of violence; such as poverty and unemployment, which this government is doing nothing to stop.

If this government so cares about the young, why has it slashed Early Childhood Education funding, and why doesn't it ensure that no child lives in poverty?


Anonymous said...

Right comments made here. Paula Bennett is the ultimate hyppocrite and opportunist, she is a mercenary for JK and the National Party and does the dirty job for dealing with the more problematic cases in our society. She earns $ 5000 per week, will continue to claim her Ministerial salary while she goes on a 6-week study excursion to the US soon and has no scruples to hoodwink needy people about the reality of intimidation and maintained suppression and economic submission by paying benefits no person can reasonably live on. Also it is a fact that some of the Regional Health Advisors that WINZ employs are either not medically qualified - or as new immigrants not fully accepted and proved for their qualificaltions - to make serious decisions about the health status of beneficiaries. A RHA who was raised and qualified in Iraq (nothing against that in principle) is not listed under the NZ Medical registers for doctors or nurses, yet is making decisions of importance for WINZ. He allegedly was a "doctor" in Australia but came here to work for WINZ. Now how many doctors move from AUS to NZ to work here? Hardly any, because conditions here are much worse. So WINZ appears to be employing staff that are either NOT qualified or have a questionable record of professional practice. Sadly the poor media in NZ does not catch onto things like this, that really should be dug into!

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Anonymous said...

It was a nice moment when the Guerrilla News Photographer was offered a job. The point he was making was that heaps of activists are making selfless contributions every day to society for no pay.
None of this makes National's punitive policies towards beneficiaries Ok, however much Paula dresses it up as helpful and caring.

August 10, 2010 6:43 AM

Anonymous said...

that is, he was offered a job by a member of the audience, not by Bennett obviously.

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