Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fight the NACTs Workfare!

Mothers are workers.    

The NACT  (National/ACT) Govt is making a problem where none exists. DPB mothers do valuable essential work and are not even paid for it.  Contrary to NACTS alarmist cries, only 1%  of single mothers are on the DPB for more than 10 years. Forcing a mother who has a child while on a benefit  to separate from  her child when the child turns one year old, is a cruel attack upon the both the  baby and its mother. But the NACTS plan to force mothers of one year old babies into full time work if their older child is over fourteen; and into part time work if their older child is over five!   Whilst only 5% of mothers have children while on the DPB, this government is going out of its way to discriminate against the second child!  Sexist, racist beneficiary bashers accuse single mothers of exploiting the system. Not the DPB mothers!  Not us!  We receive no more than $1.8 billion a year to do the most demanding job in society! Cuts in childcare will put our children at risk. Compare the $1.6 billion to corporate welfare bailout South Canterbury Finance alone. The biggest drains are the Big four Banks owned by Australian banks which made $32 billion in profits in 2011. The real welfare cheats are the corporates and banks that suck many $billions out of the economy every year exploiting low paid workers and creating the poverty that breaks up families and leave mothers raising children alone. Single mothers are not the problem, the bosses with big bank balances are. So why are we being demonised and forced to do paid as well as unpaid work rather than look after our children fulltime on a living benefit?

Why workfare? 

When the welfare state was conceived in the 1930s there was a family benefit which recognised that the cost of raising children had to be paid for. It acknowledged that mothers perform the unpaid labour of raising children to become wage workers and so subsidise the wages paid by the employers.  Labour introduced the DPB in 1974 as a support for single mothers. Thus taxes on profits were used to partially pay for the unpaid labour of single mothers to raise the next generation of wage workers. Why then are single mothers now being forced into paid as well as unpaid work? They must double up with two jobs, one unpaid and one paid. There is no way their wage will cover employing decent childcare or someone to do the housework. Getting a low paid job just means that they do a ‘double shift’ – unpaid work is done on top of paid work.

Cheap labour 

Why? First, we have to look at the wider economy and the global crisis facing capitalism for the answer. Capitalism is in a crisis of falling profits and to restore their profits the capitalists have to drive down wages. The NZ economy is weak and in debt. The bosses are making the working class pay for their crisis. The NACTs philosophy is to create more low paid jobs by cutting wages. Forcing DPB mothers to work part time when the youngest child is 5yrs and fulltime when the youngest is 14 years makes them compete for jobs thus driving down wages. This will add around 30, 000 workers to the job queue joining the 150,000 registered unemployed. This makes workers fight one another for low paid, casualised jobs. So as wages fall, profits will rise due to the extra wealth created by low paid workers.

Demonising single mothers

Second, single mothers are being targeted and forced onto the job seeker allowance because they are blamed as being cheats and scroungers. This divides the working class between employed, unemployed and unpaid workers and diverts attention away from the real problem – corporate profiteering.  More people are waking up to who are the real welfare cheats, the big corporations that get bailed out by the ordinary taxpayer while their living standards drop further. So to deflect attention from the real villains the NACTs are demonising solo mothers blaming them for being a burden on society so that low paid working families see them as the cause of their economic hardship rather than the corporates.

The cause of the NACTs driving beneficiaries onto workfare is the capitalist system itself. It exploits workers and impoverishes families creating the need for welfare. Then it demonises and blames those on welfare forcing them onto workfare. We need to end this system directing our fightback against the real cause, the capitalist class itself, by uniting and mobilising all workers, employed, unemployed, and those fully employed doing unpaid domestic work raising families.  We are all workers and we must unite behind those who are most oppressed and the target of the NACTs workfare attacks - single mothers! An injury to a single mother is an injury to all workers!  Waitemata branch of Unite is committed to organising all low paid, unemployed and beneficiaries as all valuable members of the working class. We are all exploited and oppressed by capitalism which divides and rules us. Enough! We are all part of the 99% against the 1%! We demand:

A living wage and a living benefit!
·         Unite the employed and unemployed!
·         Make the capitalists pay for their crisis!
·         Down with the NACT government’s workfare!
·         Rebuild the unions as organs of workers power!
·         For an end to capitalist system!
·         For a Socialist Aotearoa in a Socialist Pacific!

    http://waitemataunite.blogspot.com               0272800080                      

1 comment:

dandelionchain said...

Thankyou Janet for a well written, and succinct article. Decided to also repost link to yesterday's interview on Radio NZ.I think that this goes some way to explaining how semi impoverished people (the 'precariats')continue to vote for right wing policies, and how this social group in Germany, voted a Nazi regime in the 1930's. They had the Oylimpics- John key had the RWC. It was, and always has been, selectively enforced extreme austerity and injustice that really leads to food riots and civil unrest.It is not that the current Government does not understand this - they do as their university studies in economics would have studied this in depth- no they have no problem with creating and enforcing these injustices-also as a result of an effect of the 'scrounger' rhetoric being continually and hypnotically promoted in the media, has resulted in more support for their policies because the 'precariats' 'get off' on doing the victimizing-it makes them feel good and gets more support for injustice from these 'zombies'. the Government is happy to direct this victimization against welfare recipients and low waged workers alike- it keeps them divided.To follow- link:- http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20120319-0936-the_emerging_class_of_the_precariat-00.ogg