Press Release – Mana Party
John Key wants to step up state probing into the private lives of beneficiaries but can’t cope with even the slightest hint of accountability himself says Mana Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford.The breath-taking double standards of John Key
John Key wants to step up state probing into the private lives of beneficiaries but can’t cope with even the slightest hint of accountability himself says Mana Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford.
She says a seemingly innocuous section of the Welfare Policy announced by National on Tuesday proves the breath-taking double standards of John Key.
‘At present beneficiaries are subject to probing into the most intimate details of their private lives to prove they are entitled to their benefit, but John Key and Paula Bennett want to increase this.
‘Beneficiaries are subject to scrutiny under 13 relationship indicators to prove they have correctly declared their personal relationship with others.
‘For example a person on a Domestic Purposes benefit can lose their benefit if Work and Income decides they are in a relationship with another person, even if they live in different houses and have no physical relationship.
‘Simply sharing social activities or offering emotional support to a person on the DPB is considered enough to have their benefit cut off.
‘You can imagine the amount of probing into people’s private lives and surveillance that takes place to decide whether two people comfort each other in times of difficulty, or go to netball games together.
‘Yet this is not enough for Mr Key. He wants to make it easier to prosecute people in this situation on the basis they are committing welfare fraud.
‘Never mind the evidence that most wrongful payments of benefits are caused through bureaucratic bungles, or that most deliberate fraud is eventually caught up with.
‘This is the same man who throws a tantrum about invasion of privacy when reporters try to cover a meeting to which he invited them. If he calls the police over this, what would be like if he was being spied on in his bedroom like some beneficiaries are.
Ms Bradford says many workers are also constantly monitored as they work nowadays.
‘Truck drivers have cameras and audio in their cabs so their bosses can watch and listen to them and retail workers are under constant surveillance.
‘When John Key met John Banks last week, he was at work on the taxpayer dollar. His boss mates expect to be able to listen and watch their employees when they are on the clock. He expects to be able monitor beneficiaries twenty four hours a day.
‘But he gets all precious when the same standards are applied to him.’
Ms Bradford says John Key is running a campaign based very largely on being tough on beneficiaries and making them accountable but seems to forget he receives a fair whack of taxpayer funding himself.
Mana candidate for Waitakere, national spokesperson for issues of Social Wellbeing