Press Release – Auckland Action Against Poverty
AAAP spokesperson Sarah Thompson says John Key lives in a fantasy world that bears no relation to the real life of people struggling to survive on a benefit. “John Key seems to think there are plenty of jobs but in the real world jobseekers spend …November 1, 2011
Key in fantasy world over welfare
AAAP spokesperson Sarah Thompson says John Key lives in a fantasy world that bears no relation to the real life of people struggling to survive on a benefit.
“John Key seems to think there are plenty of jobs but in the real world jobseekers spend day after day trudging between factories, retail outlets and other places of employment looking for a job in vain,” she says.
“In the real world the unemployed join queues of thousands of jobseekers to apply for a minimum wage job at a supermarket and wait all day for an interview that has less chance of success than winning lotto.
“When they are not doing this they are lining up to fix the mistakes half trained Work and Income staff have made so they can collect their benefit, or doing a compulsory CV writing course run for the 50th time.
Ms Thompson says bringing up children is the most important job any person can do and chasing after low paid and exhausting part time work at odd hours when your child is only one year old should not be a priority.
‘Contrary to what Mr Key thinks, working nights at the local gas station on the minimum wage is not a viable option for solo parents unless he is advocating neglecting children.
Ms Thompson is also very concerned for the wellbeing of sickness beneficiaries under the new regime.
‘I am particularly concerned about how people with mental health problems will be treated. Work and Income is not known for its sensitivity and even experts have difficulty diagnosing the severity of some conditions. You can imagine what ham fisted intervention from Work and Income could lead to.
Ms Thompson says there are three reasons John Key is beneficiary bashing.
“The first is because it appeals to his political support base that enjoys the idea of hurting people who are having a hard time.
“The second is because even more thousands of people will be forced into competing for low-paid, part-time and casual work and this will drive down wages even further and help his wealthy mates get even richer.
“Finally, Mr Key is in desperate need of a smokescreen to draw attention away from his incompetent management of the economy and his massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.”