Press Release – Action on Welfare Reforms
WINZ pickets are being organised across the country on Friday October 5 against the Government’s welfare reform. The organisers have gained the support of the PSA ‘who have from the onset expressed concern about the current Government’s Welfare Reform Programme’. They also have support from MANA, Unite Union and the student protest group ‘Blockade the Budget’ as well as other organisations such as the Auckland Action against Poverty group.
The organisers are calling for the reforms to be halted until an independent inquiry is held on welfare reforms that are discriminatory in nature, with special focus on those that have been highlighted by the UN’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Amongst their requests the organisers are calling for unpaid work such as parenting and community volunteering to be treated as such, for parents receiving income support to be given the working for families tax credits, and for secondary tax to be removed from any part time work for those on low incomes.
The Organisers of the Day of Action say that Paula Bennetts punitive welfare reforms and proposed financial sanctions are a serious attack on the rights of all unemployed people and need to be stopped before they are actioned.
Pickets are so far being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton and Hawkes Bay with other smaller towns and cities expected to join in on the day.