National wants solo parents back at work
Tue, 01 Nov 2011 6:06p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
National has announced a major overhaul of the welfare system.
John Key says his party will slash the number of people receiving benefits if it gets back into Government and today revealed how he’ll do it.
National says 57,000 people will be put back into the workforce with this plan – either full or part time.
Meanwhile, almost everyone who wants a benefit will be tested to see if they can work for a living instead. That’s sickness, invalid and DPB recipients. If there is a job they can do, they’ll have to do it.
Mums on the DPB who get pregnant will have just one year with the new baby before work-testing rules apply to them.
Mr Key started the day in a hard hat on a worksite – but it was those who aren’t in work who needed one.
He ended the day telling beneficiaries they had to look for jobs or face losing their benefit.
“They need to be work ready,” he said.
That means the 131,000 solo parents on the DPB all face rigorous work tests.
When your child turns 14, you’ll be told to look for full-time work.
When your child turns five, you’ll be work-tested for part-time work.
If you fail to show up three times, the Government will take away 50 percent of your benefit until you meet your obligations.
But it gets tougher; have another baby while you’re on the DPB and once that child turns one, you’ll be work-tested for part-time work.
Beneficiary numbers have risen 60,000 since National took office, with 328,000 Kiwis now on benefits.
All sickness and invalids beneficiaries will be work-tested too – if they fail to meet their obligations and don’t have young children they could lose 100 percent of their benefit.
But those unable to work due to genuine illness will still get a welfare cheque.
Mr Key hopes the changes will see 57,000 beneficiaries back in the workforce. But 3 News had to ask; where are the jobs?
"We've gotta work very aggressively as a Government - if we are the Government post the election - to create jobs,” Key said.
In a strange twist, Mr Key delivered the Welfare Reforms in front of both an Australian and New Zealand flag. It was in the boardroom of a company with Aussie links and no one thought to move it.
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4/11/2011 12:46:21 p.m.
NZ people who vote for someone who lied about Gst , Kiwi saver and other things, deserve what they get. Phil Goff is a very very good man, He has integrity. Goodness help us if JK gets in again. Come on NZ , please wake up.
2/11/2011 10:42:52 p.m.
Number of extra beneficiaries since National got control 60,000. Number of people they want to cut off the benefit to, $57,000. Still not as good as Helen, John even if your failed policies do not result in another workforce reduction in your next term. Just National plucking numbers out of the air like a money market speculator. National accuse Labour of unfunded policy announcements - your both nuts. But at least labour still has a diseased heart, not none at all.
2/11/2011 12:27:57 p.m.
Whilst I agree with National that we need to get heaps of freeloaders off their lazy backsides and into work, there must be opportunities to work in the economy. All of the comments contain the same issue "No Jobs" available. Unless National commits to creating more jobs, all they are looking at is increased unrest and crime for the common man.
2/11/2011 11:20:55 a.m.
Great Thinking, change the name of benefits, fiddle the numbers, and viola you suddenly have a whole lot of people off benefits and no longer counted as unemployed..Helpful? Not really, but one must ask the question if they can find $130 Million to fund this surely they could invest that money into jobs creation? But wait, where would any jobs come from if they are so keen on sending work offshore from Telecom to NZ Rail, we are making other countries successful whilst forgetting our own? Sorry John bashing the poor and downtrodden is not my cup of tea, try investing in creating policies that see people invest into business and jobs creation-rather have a slave labour force you can control..
1/11/2011 11:22:17 p.m.
Once again he seems to have misdirected his focus, it's not the people on benefits who are at fault(generally) it's the poor jobs market, I applied for over 200 jobs in christchurch, cold calling, asking through friends, family, newspapers and online, most places would already be swamped with applications, any unskilled jobs ads would have a minimum of 50 applicants but usually closer to 100. I desperately wanted to work but it proved to be a challenge much greater than I had ever expected it to be. Looking for a job had become my job.
I eventually had to leave to Australia where I found a a well paying job and cheaper study within weeks, which saddens me as I love and miss Christchurch but the only way for me to live there is with the help of a benefit.
"They need to be work ready" and some of us have been for months or years, and you think you can change this by waving your magic wand? Maybe you could make beneficiaries chase a bag of money around the block for 40 hours a week just so they can say they earned it. This just seems like a cheap and callous way for them to cut costs once again by cutting some of the most important parts of government policy out as well.
Perhaps if they do cut benefits to 57,000 people it would wake a sleeping beast and people would realise the bad hand we've been dealt and actually do something about it.
1/11/2011 11:17:39 p.m.
57,000 new McDonald's employees, what a utopian future we have to look forward to!
1/11/2011 10:29:17 p.m.
I'm all for encouraging young mums into the workforce. It's definitely better for children to see their parents working and hopefully they'll follow suit when they leave school. Now.... Where's all these jobs they're supposed to apply for? Oh and daycare? All well and good us wanting them to work. But work where exactly? Leave the kids where exactly? I thought number of daycare places had been cut. I just hope there are jobs created before they introduce this. Or it'll be more than just breakfast kids will miss out on.
1/11/2011 10:27:41 p.m.
I am a solo parent that is absoulutely disgusted by national's new proposed policy! From the age of 14 i worked two jobs, paid my taxes, then became self employed, i was married then lost everything to my husband, i was left on my own with nothing, i rebuilt my life then fell accidentaly pregnant, despite taking contraceptive precautions, ie: pill & condoms, my partner went to prision & i was left to raise a child on my own. It's taken me nearly 3 years to furnish my home with basics, nothing fancy, all secondhand, i don't own or have video games, freeview, microwave, computer etc like so many others on benefits. Currently i'm working on getting my child a single bed as getting to big for the portacot we were given, i've worked damn hard scrimping & saving for what little we do have, now i'm working towards a career. I've just applied to become a budget volunteer 15 hrs a week working with beneficaries with possability of being a paid employee later down the track, i've also enrolled to start a computing & admin course part time to gain a qualification as when i last worked the role i was in no longer exisits as now you need to be qualified to do the job despite past experience. I'm trying hard to improve our lives despite work & income's unhelpful service & national's shake ups that have already been applied. Only thing this next lot of shake ups will cause is people unable to pay already high rents & more parents & children becoming homeless & hungry with 50% cut off benefits. How about national party has a pay cut live on an income a solo parent gets & see how they go?! Gaurentee they wouldn't last a week!!!
1/11/2011 10:26:47 p.m.
1/11/2011 10:03:51 p.m.
Please leave us alone, you have done enough damages, its alot more out their need solving, a doctor written prescription should follow through but what reason for the pharmacies to refuse or prescribe the medicine to an ill person.. Social workers are not all honest with their clients, a backhand wage must probably coming from somewhere.. Loads of double dealing out there in the community that needs investigating.. Mr. Key lied to the people of Aotearoa with his broken promises with more bad news to add-on to his 3 year in government almost end by the next election..
Good bye Mr. Key, end of story..
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