Press Release – Green Party
The Government’s planned changes to the welfare system are out of touch with New Zealand communities and prey on our most vulnerable, says Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty. Key and Bennett Promote Out of Touch Welfare Report
The Government’s planned changes to the welfare system are out of touch with New Zealand communities and prey on our most vulnerable, says Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty.
Ms Delahunty said community groups she had spoken with in Waihi, Rotorua, Gisborne and Whangarei were all in opposition to the Government’s plans.
“People working at the front line of poverty and benefit issues are horrified by the changes. Blaming beneficiaries for not ‘trying hard enough’ is simply shifting the blame from a Government that’s failed to provide New Zealanders with adequate jobs and training,” said the Green Party welfare spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“The Government’s message, ‘if you can work, you should work’, is nothing more than a dog whistle designed to beat up our country’s most vulnerable for the sake of a few votes.
“The number of people on the unemployment benefit isn’t about people not wanting to work, it’s about the number of jobs available.”
Ms Delahunty said the Government needed to let go of the delusion that beneficiaries were merely taking a free ride at the expense of everyone else.
“People don’t want to be on the dole; it’s a degrading and stressful experience. They want jobs, but there simply aren’t enough going around.”
Ms Delahunty spoke with various community groups about welfare changes during the Green Party’s Welfare Issues tour. The groups included budgeting services, children’s services, food banks, youth transition agencies, beneficiary advocates and community resource centres.
The tour will visit more communities in the next few months to gather views of positive change for people needing welfare and employment.