Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The fact that just six women from Auckland and only 35 nationally have taken up Paula Bennett’s ‘contraception for beneficiaries’ has nothing to do with the non-promotion of it, but everything to do with it being an ill-conceived, political stunt, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The take-up rate shows what a botched, politically-focused policy this actually is.
“Paula Bennett reasons the low uptake is due to Work and Income not actively promoting the scheme.
“I would suggest it’s because women are being asked to stump up – hundreds of dollars in some cases – then take the invoice to Work and Income to get a refund.
“Not only are these women on extremely limited incomes, Work and Income should never have been in the picture.
“Labour supports improving access to birth control, but to target those on the benefit is pointless and wrong. This should have been about helping all low income women, not just those on benefits, and certainly not via a Work and Income case manager.
“If the Government was genuine in wanting to improve access to contraception for people on low incomes, then it should have based the scheme on the Community Services card.
“The scheme was never about helping women. It was about political posturing and the take-up rate proves that.”