Monday, November 8, 2010

"Safety Net" to be Replaced by Forced Labour, Prostitution?

In the UK the government has announced plans to force beneficiaries to do manual labour in order to get their dole. This is of course supposed to be "good" for them, helping them to develop "work habits" when it is really slave labour. It's another wing in the government's strategy to make make the people pay for the bankers' crisis by instituting extreme cuts in public spending.

In New Zealand, as the PPTA points out, the government spends $1.6 billion to bail out South Canterbury Finance investors, $35 million on private schools, $30 million + on Warner Brothers, $9.8 million+ on Rugby's Party Central, but says it can't afford to pay for public education.

It also says it can't afford to maintain benefits at the current level which have been estimated at somewhere between $2.8 billion per year to a maximum of about $6 billion per year projected into the future.
The Welfare Working Group headed by Paula Rebstock and the Centre for Social Research and Evaluation on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development , are crowing on about costs of $5o billion , or $28billion to $32 billion but they really mean the cost over a ten year period.
(See the Sunday Star Times article by Lois Cairns on 7th November "Benefit no longer a safety net" by Lois Cairns)
Paula Rebstock (in a misleading quote even more misleadingly highlighted by the Sunday Star Times) says:"It is likely people who are on the benefit today will cost the community $50b instead of the $6b we think of."
This is a deliberate attempt to mislead and alarm the public.
The yearly cost would not be $50 billion but $5 billion which is normal.
If we were not subject to the irrational swings of capitalist crises and instead had real jobs for all , the amount needed for "unemployment " would be zero because there would not be any. People who need and are entitled to long- term support should and would get it. This includes single parents , the sick , and those with disabilities.
Paula Rebstock et al have no proposals to end the capitalist system which is now causing long term unemployment for some sections of society. However they believe that welfare should only be a very temporary "safety net" and want us to believe that we have a social problem when mothers and the disabled are on it for a long time, and talk in alarm about the "safety net" being transformed into "long term dependency."
Instead the opposite is happening, and the safety net is being rapidly pulled away. Especially if they have their way.
In France, men are starting to offer trades, tutoring, and other services for sex advertised as "hugs". Job Centres in the UK have included brothels on their books, until protest has made some centres take these ads down.

Is this what is coming to New Zealand? State support for only a few weeks, forced labour work- for- the- dole schemes, and prostitution in order to survive? The end of the safety net indeed.

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