INDEPENDENT NEWS

To Work Or Not To Work? - Don't Like The Question

Published: Thu 29 Nov 2001 01:19 PM
TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK? - WE DON'T LIKE THE QUESTION
"Yesterday's outcry from the Wellington People's Resource Centre 'Govt told punishing sole parents not the answer' is indeed telling," says Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.
"By their own admission, there is clearly a question here, that requires an answer," she continues. "Is it, how can we get over 300,000 single parents and their children off benefits? Or is it, how can we stop the astounding growth of single parent families who cannot support themselves?"
"This indignant reaction to Mr Maharey's new requirement that all DPB beneficiaries sign an employment plan amply demonstrates that many DPB recipients do not want to work. On the one hand they want us to believe that they are a 'highly work motivated group' and on the other, they are incensed that they might actually be required to prove this."
Mrs Mitchell continues, "A working parent isn't just about being self- sufficient. Thousands of New Zealand children currently reach maturity never having had the example of working parent. This naturally shapes their own expectations about life. A benefit is a dead-end, whereas a job, even with similar financial return, is hope for the future. Its a function and fulfilment beyond just motherhood, which lets face it, requires decreasing physical input as the child becomes independent."
"I am disappointed but unsurprised by this outburst. It is beyond me why beneficiaries are attacking Mr Maharey for trying to assist them into work. In light of this reaction, the proposed sanctions for those who refuse to genuinely seek work are a neccessity. The advocates for sole parents have simply confirmed this for the Minister. "
Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB ph/fx 04 562-7944 e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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