Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has been caught fabricating aspects of New Zealand’s welfare system in order to justify his harsh cuts to young jobseekers.
Minister Andrews has repeatedly claimed that New Zealand has a 28 day waiting period for income support payments.
Unfortunately for the Minister, no such waiting period exists. It’s a lie.
For example, appearing on Sky News in June, the Minister said:
“In New Zealand everybody who is seeking to get welfare payments, the dole equivalent, has a one month waiting period.”
This lie has been used to justify the Government’s radical proposal to make jobseekers under 30 wait six months to get income support.
But according to research by the Parliamentary Library, New Zealand has no such wait period.
The Parliamentary Library has said that:
“[w]e have been unable to find a waiting period that matches the description Minister Andrews has given previously”
It goes on:
“There doesn’t appear to be formal one-month waiting period that applies to the main unemployment benefit payment in NZ”
Kevin Andrews appears to have made it all up.
This has been exposed for the absolute fraud that it always was.
It is absolutely appalling that the Government would deliberately spread false information to try and justify a radical withdrawal of all support to young people on Newstart.
The Abbott Government couldn’t find a single good reason for this bad policy – so they lied about it.
The reality is that this measure will leave young unemployed people with nothing to live on for six months. It risks pushing them into poverty, homelessness and social isolation.
Whether for one month or six months, this measure will leave vulnerable people with nothing. It needs to be scrapped entirely.
TUESDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2014