Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Press Statement on Welfare Reforms, for International Workers Day

 Press Statement from Waitemata Unite
                            on the Government’s Welfare Reforms
On May Day, International Workers Day, 1st May, 2012.
May Day,  1st May, International Workers Day, is  a celebration of the internatonal worker’s movement,  a time to celebrate our achievements and to promote our rights.  Workers create the  goods and services upon which our society depends.
This May Day, Tuesday 1st May, the Waitemata Branch of the Unite Union is calling for the work of mothers and carers  to be recognised for the important work it is.
“Mothering is a 24 hour per day job which is not even paid “, said Janet Robin  who is President of the branch.
“Mothers are bringing up the future workers and tax payers” she said. “ In the future we are going to need many more young people to do the work  so that society can support  our increasingly  elderly population,.”
“Children are our taonga”, she said. “Society should be appreciating and supporting the mothers who raise them.”  “ But this government treats  single mothers and their  children as unwelcome and blames  them for the economic crisis which  they did not create.”
Ms Robin said that both National and Labour  discriminate against beneficiary families.
 Labour’s Working for Families gave tax concessions to families who did not receive benefits,  but not to those that did.  “Although this improved the incomes of some   families, it widened the gap with the very poorest ones headed by single  parents”, she said.
It also meant that some wealthier families could afford to have a parent at home, and yet a  poor single parent, who had no partner to help her with her children, was expected to  go out and get a job, at a time of rising unemployment.
“National’s Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus” Amendment Bill is  even worse “ she said.  “A first born child’s need to have its  mother at home until school age is recognised, but the need  of a second child for its mother  is not.”
 “ Indeed some mothers of one year old babies will be required to be available for full time work!” she said. “National is saying that this second child is a second class citizen.”
“The early years are crucial for a child’s attachment and bonding with its primary parent” said Ms Robin.  “Children need love and security to grow up to be healthy responsible adults.” “Breast feeding is best for a child’s health, but this government’s policies don’t support that either.”
“All mothers and children should be valued and supported by society” said Ms Robin. “We call for Paid Parental Leave to be extended until the child is at least three.”   “ Mothers in the work force need free quality child care and  time off for breast feeding, sick children, and school holidays.”   “Women need to receive equal pay with men.”  “All workers and beneficiaries have the right to a living income, and to time with our families.”
“We need social welfare, not corporate welfare,”  said Ms Robin.  “We need fully funded quality  health and  education, decent jobs, and living incomes for those who are mothering, caring, or are sick.”  “Instead National wants to privatise health, education and welfare and cut public sector jobs.” “We need to stand up and fight this!”
Ms Robin said that the government was trying  save the falling  profits of the banks and corporates by driving down wages and benefits.”
“ The banks and the coroporates should pay for the economic crisis they created, not us” she said.   “It’s time we had a policies based upon social need, and not corporate greed.”
Waitemata Unite is calling holding a rally to protest the welfare changes on Tuesday 1st May at 1pm at the Aotea Square, followed by a pram parade to WINZ, Upper Queen St at 1.30 pm, to hand out teddies to children.
Janet Robin
Waitemata Branch of Unite Union
c/- 0272800080

·       Source:
Sole Parent Support
This includes all those on the DPB and Widow’s Benefits with children under 14.Those receiving Sole Parent Support will be expected to look for part-time work when
their child is five years old and full-time when their child reaches the age of 14.
Those who have an additional child while on benefit will be exempted from work
expectations for 12 months, in line with parental leave provisions. Work obligations will
then revert to the age of the youngest child when the parent went on benefit.
For example, a beneficiary with a seven year old, who has another child, will return to a
part-time work expectation when their newborn turns one. A sole parent of a fourteen
year old who has another child will return to a full-time work expectation after one year.
·       Description:
·       Waitemata Branch of Unite Union

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