December 07, 2015
Poverty protest at party with benefits
Former Green MP Sue Bradford says a protest outside the National Party’s Christmas party at the weekend was in part about the way harsh reforms are being sugar coated .
Members of Auckland Action Against Poverty chained themselves to a gate at the west Auckland venue, preventing guests from entering or leaving.
Ms Bradford says is was to highlight the contradiction between cabinet ministers wining and dining while homelessness increases and more families struggle through Christmas.
She says the Support for Children In Hardship Bill introduced last Thursday will make things worse for beneficiaries, not better.
"Some beneficiaries who qualify will get an extra $25 a week from April. Some of that will be lost again because people will lose some supplementary benefits, but worse than that, they are implementing more of the Rebstok-Paula Bennett reforms that started in 2011.
Parents on a benefit will be required to look for work from the time their youngest child is aged three, so they are dropping the age even further at which even sole parents are required to go out and work, which we think is just dreadful," Ms Bradford says.
Part time work will mean a 20 hours a week rather than 15, putting even more pressure on beneficiaries included the sick and invalids who are now subject to the same policies.
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