Bennett mounts further attacks on vulnerable families

AUCKLAND ACTION AGAINST POVERTY

Media release 11 September 2012, 3.00pm

Bully Bennett mounts further attacks on vulnerable families with today’s announcement of enforced social obligations, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sarah Thompson.

Beneficiaries should have the right to decide for their families whether childcare and all the WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks are right for their children, the same right that is afforded all other non beneficiary families.

Parents need to be educated on the benefits and draw backs of such programmes so they can make informed decisions for themselves, rather than be forced through intimidation and benefit cuts to enroll their child in childcare or WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks, as proposed by Bennett.

In addition, as Bennett herself notes, there are geographical and capacity barriers to accessing such programs with not all towns providing child care or WellChild/Tamariki Ora services.

Beneficiaries should not have their benefits cut for either choosing to not take part in these programmes or for having difficulty in accessing them.

These sanctions will only further impoverish struggling New Zealanders who are doing the best they can to get by within difficult and uncertain economic times.

This is yet another attempt by Bennett to regulate the lives of the poor and step into the job description of the Ministry of Health.

ENDS

For more information:

Contact: Sarah Thompson 021 157 0878 or Chris Zack 021 233 5938

Spokespeople Auckland Action Against Poverty