Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defend Our Benefits! Forum Sunday 31 July, Henderson, 1.30 pm



Why are beneficiaries going to be forced to work when there are not enough decent jobs?

Waitemata Branch of Unite! Union is holding a community forum in Henderson this Sunday to provide the answer to this question. It will be held at at the WEA, 9 Henderson Valley Rd, starting at 1.30pm.
It's a Forum to highlight the many proposed changes to the benefit system as well as overall cuts in living standards at a time of 5% inflation that are already hitting ordinary people at the moment.

Workers in West Auckland are particularly vulnerable many families living below the poverty line.

"Thousands have already been taken off the invalids benefits losing $50 a week. The Rebstock Razor gang wants to reduce spending by nearly a third from around $4.7 billion to $3.4 billion per year by 2011 (dishonestly represented as $47b and $34b which is the amount for the entire ten years.) It aims to cut 100,000 people off the welfare rolls in the next decade above those who will get jobs with the projected economic 'recovery'. Overall, it hopes to reduce those on a benefit from 360,000 to 100,000 by 2021. It also plans to increase the proportion of beneficiaries having to seek work from 37% to 77%, with a possible work-for-the-dole."

If the government goes ahead with these proposed changes then all beneficiaries will be put onto one 'Jobseeker Allowance' and pressured to find work. Some proposed changes are:

· Solo parents on the DPB will be expected to find part-time work when the youngest child reaches the age of 3 years. [Even the draconian 'reforms' in the UK set it at 5 years!]

· Sickness and invalid beneficiaries will be frequently reviewed to see if they can work.

· Beneficiaries with mental health problems or addictions will be forced into treatment or risk losing their benefit.

Waitemata Unite says that these are attacks on workers rights and living standards at a time of recession which is already doing terrible damage to suffering and fragile families, where the object is to pressure them to compete for work at low wages.

The Government is trying to get public support for these changes by blaming beneficiaries for their plight, calling them part of an 'underclass' that is dependent on social welfare. This is especially cynical when this Government is spending billions on bailing out banks and finance companies and yet cannot fund a welfare system that allows children to be fed before going to school.

Waitemata Unite! calls on all beneficiaries who want to defend their rights, and learn more about how Unite! Union works to support them, to come to the Forum and share their stories of the problems they face and how we can unite together as a community union to resist these changes.

See attached notice of Meeting
Also blog: on which there are lots or stories and reports of what is happening to welfare in Aotearoa.
Also see facebook page of Waitemata Unite

For further information contact Hon Sec 836 9104 or mobile 027 2800080

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